Bucks vs. Bulls: 'magnificent' Brook Lopez steps up in fourth quarter to guide Milwaukee to gruesome video game 1 win - CBS activities

MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Bucks' first possession on Sunday night changed into now not a masterpiece. They took their time developing a select-and-roll with Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo, and the previous well-nigh threw the ball away with a risky move. After securing possession, Giannis then dropped it all the way down to a slicing Brook Lopez, who overlooked a layup but was bailed out with a foul call and acquired to the line for 2 free throws – both of which he made. 

a little sloppy, no longer in any respect how they drew it up, but ultimately good sufficient because of a big contribution from Lopez. 

That turned out to be the story of the day for the Bucks, who were now not at their gold standard in game 1 of their first-circular series with the Chicago Bulls but pulled out a 93-86 win regardless of turning the ball over 21 times, shooting 26.three percent from three-aspect land and trailing with under six minutes to play. 

Antetokounmpo turned into the using drive as per average, completing with 27 aspects, sixteen rebounds and two blocks, however even he needs support every now and then. In online game 1 he obtained it from Lopez, who changed into the Bucks' 2nd-leading scorer and went for 18 features, five rebounds and two blocks in a single of his highest quality performances for the reason that getting back from again surgical procedure in March. 

"[Brook was] an important key to the online game tonight," Bucks head educate Mike Budenholzer said. "each ends of the court he changed into very first rate. a lot of huge performs, completing across the basket. He started the video game well, comprehensive the game smartly, a lot of plays across the rim defensively. He became very essential."

Lopez played a tremendous position within the Bucks' brief delivery, throwing his weight around in the paint on each ends of the floor, and hitting a deep 3-pointer off a feed from Giannis. After the first six minutes he turned into matching the Bulls with the aid of himself (11 facets each and every), and the Bucks had been up by way of 14. 

The video game could have, and perhaps may still have, turned into a rout from there, however the Bucks' rust and sloppiness avoided that from happening. (A scout sitting neighborhood in the press box remarked varied instances that he couldn't accept as true with the Bucks' lack of urgency.) When Giannis picked up his fifth foul with eight:14 last, the Bucks were clinging to a one-factor lead that could in brief disappear. 

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it really is when Lopez stepped up again. He checked into the game for Giannis after that foul and would not come out until there have been simply eight seconds final and the game changed into in hand. all through that stretch he scored seven aspects, grabbed two rebounds, blocked a shot and helped regular the crew on both sides of the ball. 

His presence gave Budenholzer the self assurance and flexibility to be cautious with Giannis down the stretch, popping him in and out of the video game for short stretches counting on the condition. Budenholzer arguably obtained somewhat too lovely with that scheme, as Giannis ended up sitting for a great deal of the ultimate 90 seconds – a decision Budenholzer described as taking "a bit bit of an opportunity" – however labored out as a result of Lopez. 

"Brook made some massive plays," Budenholzer observed. "It become good to have Brook play the style he did whereas Giannis become in foul quandary."

One moment, in selected, stood out. After the Bulls scored to make it a one-factor game with a bit over 90 seconds final, the Bucks got here down and went to a core opt for-and-roll with Jrue holiday and Lopez. each defenders went to Jrue, so break found him on the brief roll and Lopez entire through contact for a online game-changing and-one. 

"actually, get him the ball in the core of the paint," break noted. "I suppose I do my job of attracting two americans and then Brook's taller than every person. So get him the ball in the middle of the paint and have him make a choice. both he has the floater or the dunk, or he dishes it to a person else… there may be lots of trust there."

After spending a whole lot of the season on the sidelines, Lopez is slowly rounding into form. His game 1 efficiency became a reminder that his presence is crucial to making this Bucks crew work because it is meant to. besides moving into the paint for his own facets, he changed into a huge reason the Bulls shot eleven-of-27 at the rim on Sunday and settled for 9-of-23 from the mid range. towards a Bulls group that lacks size, Lopez will proceed to be a key aspect in this series.

"Tonight within the fourth quarter he was spectacular," Giannis stated. "He turned into able to get to his spots, shoot his floaters, get to the rim, make his free throws. Defensively he became excellent, contesting pictures. he is large for us, he's massive. He had a good online game, we need him to preserve taking part in this fashion, we want him to keep helping the crew any method possible. he is a huge piece of who we are."

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