The Orlando Magic pull off a Game 1 upset - again. This time downing the Milwaukee Bucks 122-110.
The Magic led by as many as 18 points and now take a 1-0 series lead over the team that finished with the best record in the NBA.
Here are four takeaways from Orlando's big win in Game 1.
1. The Magic's good start
The Magic punched the Bucks in the mouth early and didn't look back. Getting an early lead on Milwaukee is going to be so important for the Magic in this series to be competitive. They went on a 15-2 run to take a 17-10 lead in the first quarter and closed the period with a 10-point advantage.
Milwaukee averaged close to 30 points in the first quarter this season and had the best plus-minus of any team in the opening frame. That's what they used all year long to cruise to the league's best record.
Orlando, on the other hand, had the third-worst first quarter plus-minus and had the second-worst field goal percentage in the first period this season. Again, for Orlando to be competitive they must duplicate the start they had in Game 1.
2. Nikola Vucevic
Boy, is Vucevic happy the Magic didn't draw the Raptors in the first round. Vucecvic was incredible in Game 1, finishing with a game-high 35 points to go along with 13 rebounds on 62.5 percent shooting from the field.
Say it with us:- Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) August 18, 2020
🗣 VOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOCH@NikolaVucevic | #MagicPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/QvbbDOK8uB
He gave Brook Lopez and the rest of the Bucks fits on the defensive end, scoring inside and outside all game long.
The Magic needed a big game from someone, who better than their leading scorer this season?
Playoff career-high 𝟐𝟓 points for @NikolaVucevic ... and counting. pic.twitter.com/RpFgolosj5- Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) August 18, 2020
3. Giannis' poor free-throw shooting
The likely league MVP had a good game, finishing with a team-high 31 points, 17 rebounds and seven assists in the loss.
He didn't get much help from his teammates, which we'll get to in a second, but he also left some points at the foul line which he should've cashed in.
Giannis shot just 4-for-9 (44.4 percent) from the foul in Game 1.
It's a continuation from his career-worst 63.3 percent from the line in the regular season.
Giannis clanking a couple of free throws in Game 1 isn't the reason the Bucks lost by any means, but it might be something that prevents them from winning a future close game. Shaq, a notoriously poor free-throw shooter, used to say that he'll make them when they count the most - Giannis shot 65.0 percent from the foul line in the clutch this season. If Milwaukee is going to win close games, they'll need their best player to be more efficient than that on freebies.
4. Where's Giannis' help?
Giannis did everything he could to keep his team in the game, but his supporting cast couldn't buy a bucket. Khris Middleton went 4-for-12 from the field with four turnovers, Eric Bledsoe was 1-for-5 from 3-point range and Brook Lopez finished the game shooting 2-for-9 from the field.
The Bucks were down by as many as 18 points to the Magic and no one other than Giannis felt the need to step up and rectify that.
It goes without saying that they'll all need a much better Game 2 performance.
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