LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The Milwaukee Bucks‘ hopes of successful their to start with NBA title because 1971 bought off to a rocky commence.
Nikola Vucevic scored a playoff vocation-substantial 35 details and experienced 14 rebounds, and the Orlando Magic shocked the top rated-seeded Bucks 122-110 on Tuesday in the league’s lover-no cost Disney World bubble.
Terrence Ross scored 18 factors, Gary Clark extra 15 and D.J. Augustin had 11 details and 11 helps for the eighth-seeded Magic, who have been 14-issue underdogs.
Orlando took a 1- direct in the ideal-of-seven series, an intriguing consequence given that the Bucks just can’t count on residence-courtroom benefit in these pandemic-altered playoffs.
“We really don’t treatment what other people today have to say,” Vucevic claimed. “We focus on ourselves and we arrived out and performed a great sport on the two ends of the floor.”
Giannis Antetokounmpo completed with 31 points, 17 rebounds and seven helps for Milwaukee. Last season’s MVP was held with no a industry objective above the closing 11 minutes and appeared to get extra frustrated as the fourth quarter went on.
“You have to really be all set for what they do,” Vucevic said. “Especially us from a staff like Milwaukee the place we have to make guaranteed we know their things and we are geared up for every thing. Tonight, we definitely had been on major of that. We did a very good work executing the match prepare.”
The Bucks arrived into the article-year as the favourites to earn the NBA title. But they went 3-5 in seeding video games in the bubble, and that sluggish enjoy carried more than into the article-year.
George Hill reported the Bucks required to do some “soul looking.”
Antetokounmpo didn’t go that far, stating the Bucks’ vitality level was good, but that they have to have to make far more photographs. Milwaukee created 43% from the area and was 14 of 42 from 3-stage land.
“There’s no magic wand to point and things are heading to improve,” Antetokounmpo said. “You’ve obtained to come out, enjoy tricky, participate in even tougher, engage in alongside one another and have exciting.”
Milwaukee swept the period series versus Orlando, winning 4 online games by an normal of 17 factors, but struggled with the Magic’s stingy defence, which induced 16 turnovers and consistently clogged the lane, forcing Antetokounmpo to settle for soar pictures.
The Bucks’ frustration was apparent when centre Brook Lopez stomped on a chair — and then kicked it — in the bench location all through a timeout.
“Obviously, our main concentration was try out to make it tricky on Giannis, to defend the paint,” Vucevic mentioned. “We did that as a group. Gary (Clark) did a good career battling him and we were ready to help.”
The Magic led most of the video game.
Orlando made use of an early 15-2 operate to develop a 51-33 lead halfway by way of the second quarter at the rear of 16 factors from Vucevic.
Milwaukee created various operates in the next fifty percent, but the Magic had an respond to every single time.
Vucevic experienced 14 details in the third quarter, scoring down in the very low submit in opposition to smaller sized defenders and stepping out to knock down 3s against larger men as the Magic carried a 13-position lead into the fourth quarter.
The Bucks trimmed the guide to six in the fourth, but Ross experienced a dunk and a layup off tricky cuts to the basket and Augustin and Vucevic added 3s to push the direct back to 14. Evan Fournier, who went scoreless for a few quarters, sent the knockout punch with a few 3-tips in the last 5 minutes.
The challenge for the Magic will be to manage their intensity. A yr in the past they defeat the eventual NBA winner Raptors to kick off their opening-spherical sequence, but missing the future four.
“We arrived out with a massive victory,” Vucevic mentioned. “Again, it is just a person sport. We’ve bought to shift on.”
Magic: Played devoid of guards Aaron Gordon (strained remaining hamstring) and Michael Carter-Williams (strained left foot). Gordon is expected to return prior to Carter-Williams.
Bucks: Antetokoumpo played his initial sport in a week. He was suspended for the ultimate seeding game for head-butting Washington’s Moe Wagner through Milwaukee’s Aug. 11 earn in excess of the Wizards.
Vucevic finished 15 of 24 from the discipline, which include 5 of 8 from 3-stage range. He also had four assists.
“He performed out of his brain,” Antetokounmpo claimed.
“He was just fantastic,” Magic mentor Steve Clifford explained. “He’s played incredibly well down in this article. … He designed significant participate in immediately after huge engage in nowadays. But I’m not surprised. Since his preparing for this playoff sequence, and I feel it will display, he’s on prime of factors.”
Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer doesn’t imagine taking part in in the bubble is impacting his staff.
“It’s often good to enjoy in entrance of your supporters and feed off their vitality a minor bit but we have all been down in this article in the bubble for a even though so I imagine everyone should recognize how to maintain a run and protect against runs,” Budenholzer claimed.
The sequence resumes Thursday night time.
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