Antetokounmpo, Bucks beat Leonard, Raptors in ECF opener

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MILWAUKEE (AP/WMTV) -- The Milwaukee Bucks beat the Toronto Raptors 108-100, in game one of the Eastern Conference finals Wednesday night at Fiserv Forum.

Brook Lopez played out of his mind, picking up the slack of the supporting cast by scoring 29 points. Lopez led the team in scoring, while picking up 11 rebounds. Malcolm Brogdon looked healthy as ever with 15 points on 5-9 shooting.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 23 points and nabbed 14 rebounds along with 6 assists in the victory.

The Raptors led for the overwhelming majority of the game before Lopez began making it rain from beyond the arc, going 4-11 in the game.

Milwaukee (60-22, first in the Eastern Conference during the regular season) went 3-1 against Toronto (58-24, second in the Eastern Conference during the regular season) during the regular season. The Bucks have been resting since eliminating the Boston Celtics in Game 5 on Wednesday.

The Bucks have gone 33-8 at home. Milwaukee ranks seventh in the NBA with 26 assists per game. Giannis Antetokounmpo leads the Bucks averaging 5.9.

The Raptors are 26-15 in road games. Toronto ranks third in the Eastern Conference with 35.6 defensive rebounds per game, led by Kawhi Leonard averaging 6.0.

It’s a golden era in Milwaukee: The Bucks are in contention just a year after the Brewers came within one game of going to the World Series, shifting the focus of this sports-crazed state from the beloved Packers to two long-neglected teams suddenly on the rise.

The last Wisconsin professional sports team to win it all was the Packers in 2011.

The Bucks’ success has been a long time coming. Their only NBA title came in 1971, when a team featuring legends Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson beat the Baltimore Bullets.

Away from the arena, the city has been expressing its pride for the team, too, with buses and streetcars flashing “Fear the Deer” and “Go Bucks” on their digital displays. The city’s Public Market has a banner under its name with the same phrase, which is the team’s rallying cry. Billboards on the highway are counting down the number of victories needed to win the championship.