The Associated PressTORONTO (AP) — The Milwaukee Bucks left the Toronto Raptors behind — again.
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 28 points, rookie Malcolm Brogdon had 16 and the Bucks beat the Raptors 97-83 on Saturday in Game 1 of the first-round playoff series.
“Our second half was just abysmal,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. “We didn’t play with any pace, any rhythm, any movement. You keep playing that way, it’s always going to bite you in the behind and that’s what happened to us tonight.”
The Raptors have lost the opening game in eight consecutive playoff series, a streak of futility Toronto star DeMar DeRozan was at a loss to explain.
“If I had the answer, maybe we would have pulled it out tonight,” DeRozan said. “It’s something now that we’re not unfamiliar with, being at this point. It’s never ideal.”
Playing his second career playoff series, Antetekounmpo made 13 of 18 shots, and added eight rebounds and three assists.
“It’s big for us, but now we have to focus on Game 2,” Antetokounmpo said. “We know they’re going to be more desperate.”
Game 2 is Tuesday night in Toronto.
Greg Monroe had 14 points and 15 rebounds for the Bucks, Tony Snell scored 11, and Khris Middleton finished with 10 points and nine assists.
“Any time you win it feels good, especially against a good team, a playoff-tested team,” Monroe said. “To come in here and get one feels good.”
DeRozan led Toronto with 27 points, and Serge Ibaka had 19 points and 14 rebounds. Toronto recovered to win seven-game series against Indiana and Miami after losing Game 1 openers in last year’s playoffs.
“We’ll figure it out,” Casey said. “We’ve been there before. It’s not a good feeling.”
Players react to Jackson snipe
NEW YORK (AP) — The National Basketball Players Association said it has spoken to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver about Phil Jackson’s comments regarding Carmelo Anthony.
Jackson said Friday that perhaps it was best if Anthony sought to be traded from the New York Knicks, and the team president added that the club hadn’t been able to win with the All-Star forward.