Kawhi Leonard

Brook Lopez outduels Kyle Lowry to deliver wild Game 1 win for the Bucks

Brook Lopez and Kyle Lowry traded 3-pointers down the stretch of a conference finals game in the year 2019, and it made for a glorious start to this Milwaukee Bucks-Toronto Raptors series.

The Raptors did not make a field goal after Lowry’s seventh triple tied the game with four minutes left, and Lopez delivered the dagger, draining his fourth 3 of the night during a 10-0 run that closed out a 108-100 win.

Lopez spent four seasons with his back to the basket for the New Jersey Nets, which gives you an idea of how unlikely this moment was for him even a year ago, when the Los Angeles Lakers let him walk for a mere $3.4 million from Milwaukee.

Toronto’s defense threw everything and everyone at him, even playing a 3-2 zone, and it helped that Leonard got away with clobbering Giannis at the rim as the buzzer sounded on the Raptors’ 59-51 halftime edge.

Toronto did well to respond to Milwaukee’s runs, quieting the crowd when flurries from Lopez and Eric Bledsoe brought the Bucks within a single possession midway through the second and third quarters, respectively.

The idea that those two — the doughy 6-foot-1 Lowry and oafish 7-foot Lopez — would duel late in a conference finals game that featured Leonard and Antetokounmpo seemed ludicrous only hours ago.

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