Down for most of the game, clearly rusty at times after nearly a full week off, the Bucks looked very much like a team in trouble.
Until the fourth quarter.
The team with the NBA’s best record this season found its stride at the perfect time.
Brook Lopez scored 13 of his career playoff-high 29 points in the fourth quarter, Giannis Antetokounmpo added 24 points and the host Bucks closed the game on a 10-0 run to beat Toronto 108-100 in Milwaukee in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals Wednesday night.
Milwaukee forced Toronto to miss its final eight shots and outscored the Raptors 32-17 in the fourth.
“I think it speaks a little bit to the character of the group,” Milwaukee head coach Mike Budenholzer said. “They just stick with it. I think it’s become a little bit of a theme in the playoffs: I think eventually, hopefully, we feel like if we stick with what we’re doing, good things will happen for us.”
Lopez had a dunk with 2:20 left to put the Bucks ahead for good, added a 3-pointer on the next Milwaukee possession to push the lead to four and the Bucks — after trailing for the overwhelming majority of the game — did just enough in the final minutes to grab the series lead.
“I think this game definitely made us better,” Antetokounmpo said.
Malcolm Brogdon scored 15 and Nikola Mirotic had 13 for Milwaukee.
WNBA: The league hired Cathy Engelbert as its commissioner. The previous four leaders of the WNBA had been known as president.
Since 2015, Engelbert has been CEO of Deloitte US, an accounting organization that works with Fortune 500 companies. She was the first woman to hold that job.
She replaces Lisa Borders, who stepped down in October. NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum has been the interim president since Borders left.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Bucks-10-0-run-at-end-clinches-win-13849459.php.