Bucks upset Raptors in Game 1 of National Basketball Association playoffs

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill).

It's hard to put a finger on why the Raptors continue to lose their opening games.

Routing the Toronto Raptors in Game 1 of their first-round, Eastern Conference playoff series was impressive but for their next act, the Milwaukee Bucks will have to find a way to maintain the same level of intensity and focus they showed the first time around.

"It's something that we can't feel our way into", DeRozan said.

"We have to act like we're down", Kidd said Monday after the team's final workout before returning to Toronto.

It's a big step for the young scoring threat.

Bucks: Milwaukee shot 7 for 21 in the second.

The 32-year-old James made the most sensational play of the first half, soaring in the lane to grab a lob with his back to the basket before adjusting his body and delivering a reverse dunk - the kind of play only he seems to make. Just don't let him see open space in front of him because when he does, only bad things happen for the Raptors. The Bucks' length was a significant issue at almost every position, and the Raptors looked overwhelmed in the face of feet of wingspan.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had a strong start and finished with 28 points. If Lowry's inconsistency is a sign of what is to come, the Raptors may be in trouble. Brogdon, a rookie, has provided a calming and steady presence at point guard on both ends of the floor.

"It's one game", coach Dwane Casey said Monday.

PRESSURE IS ON: Khris Middleton.

Lowry scored four points in Saturday's 97-83 loss to Milwaukee, connecting on just two of 11 field goal attempts and finishing 0 for 6 from 3-point range.

Milwaukee came into Toronto this past Saturday and took the air out of the building. "I played through it". The Atlanta-Washington, Portland-Golden State, Chicago-Boston and Oklahoma City-Houston matchups begin Sunday.

This year, all signs point to Toronto - not the reigning champion Cleveland Cavaliers or the top-seeded Boston Celtics - to be the team to face the best the Western Conference has to offer. Chyna Thomas, 22, died in a auto accident early Saturday, casting doubt on whether Thomas would ultimate play in the opener. "We get so hyped up, there's such. a lot of talk or whatever about the game, I don't know if we overthink the situation and not just play basketball".

Toronto folded in the second half, managing only 32 points in the final two quarters combined. Butler also guarded Thomas at times.

"Giannis is a special player and he can cause a problem by getting two or three players on him", said Milwaukee coach Jason Kidd.

KEEP AN EYE ON: The rebounding battle. It was as part of a 53-36 overall rebounding edge for the game. Lowry averaged 13.9 points on 17 percent three-point shooting in Toronto's first-round series against in last season.

INJURY UPDATE: The Pacers are still listing backup big man Al Jefferson (sprained left ankle) and Glenn Robinson III (sore left calf) as questionable. Second-year forward Bobby Portis (Little Rock Hall/Arkansas Razorbacks) had 19 points in the opener to lead the Bulls' young reserves, who outscored their Boston counterparts 35-22.

Neither team led by more than 10 points through the game's first three quarters. Cavaliers star LeBron James has played in 51 first-round games in his career - and his teams in Cleveland and Miami are 44-7 in those contests.

NEED TO KNOW The Jazz gained home-court advantage by winning their first playoff game since 2010 on a floater at the buzzer by Joe Johnson (Little Rock Central/Arkansas Razorbacks).

  • Julie Sanders