The Milwaukee Bucks swept their first round opponent in the 2019 NBA playoffs. That won’t be happening this time around.
Milwaukee was upended by Orlando in the Game 1 of the Eastern Conference playoffs 122-110 on Tuesday in the NBA bubble.
The Bucks fell behind by as many as 18 in the first half and by 13 heading into the fourth quarter. They got within eight in the final period but could never get over the hump as the Magic shot 49.4 percent from the floor and 39.0 percent on 3-pointers.
Giannis Antetokounmpo performed well enough at the offensive end, scoring 31 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. But Milwaukee got very little help from anyone else as it lost for a sixth time in its last nine games in the bubble. Fellow All-Star Khris Middleton had just 14 points on 4-for-12 shooting, while center Brook Lopez scored only five points and didn’t make a 3-pointer (0 of 4).
Off the bench, George Hill added 16 points, but no one else had more than six.
Orlando was playing without forward Aaron Gordon and guard Michael Carter-Williams, but it didn’t matter. The Magic got almost any shot they wanted, with center Nikola Vucevic going off for 35 points and 13 rebounds. Orlando starters 15 of its 16 3-pointers.
Milwaukee becomes the first No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference to lose its opening playoff game since Boston back in 2017. The Celtics actually ended up losing the first two games to Chicago before ripping off four straight to take the series in six games.
The Bucks and Magic will meet again on Thursday.