Friday, September 30

Giannis Antetokounmpo helps Bucks beat Bulls in Game 1 of NBA playoffs

Everything looked ready as the Milwaukee Bucks began their quest for back-to-back NBA titles.

Fiserv Forum had a different energy before Game 1 on Sunday against the Chicago Bulls. There were white “Built for This” towels draped over every seat and a palpable playoff buzz in the arena that felt edgier than the 41 regular-season games.

The Bucks also started like they were keyed up on adrenaline. But all that energy soon dissipated and Milwaukee had to fight for a 93-86 victory in a slugfest despite 27 points and 16 rebounds for Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Milwaukee had dropped five of their last six Game 1s in the playoffs, winning only last season’s playoff opener against the Miami Heat in a series that ended in a sweep.

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo is guarded by Chicago Bulls forward Patrick Williams Sunday in Game 1 of the NBA first-round playoff series.

This matchup appeared to be lopsided soon after the opening tip.

The Bucks ripped off the first nine points of the game. When Antetokounmpo dribbled into a three-pointer at the top of the key, Chicago coach Billy Donovan called a timeout just 1 minutes, 33 seconds into the action.

Milwaukee’s lead in the first quarter ballooned to 32-16 when Bobby Portis drained a three-pointer.

BOX SCORE:Bucks 93, Bulls 86

The Bulls expect long-limbed, second-year forward Patrick Williams to become a lockdown defender, but the youngster had little hope in guarding two-time MVP Antetokounmpo.

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