We all knew that this season’s NBA Playoffs in the ‘bubble’ were going to be different. Very different, in fact. But most wouldn’t have forecasted what took place on Tuesday as both the top seed of the East and West fell in game 1 to lowly eight seeds. For one to lose one game is not a big shock, but for both to do so is a pretty big one. The day began with the Milwaukee Bucks taking on the Orlando Magic, and it was never even that close. The Magic comfortably led for most of the game and won 122-110 in almost routine fashion.
Nikola Vucevic was the star man, collecting 35 points, a playoff career-high, and also coming up with 14 rebounds. Three others had double-digit points totals, with DJ Agustin producing a solid 11 points and assists for a double-double. Giannis led the way with 31 for the Bucks, who had been 14-point favorites ahead of tip-off. Later on in the night cap, the Los Angeles Lakers would face the same fate as the Bucks when they took on surging Portland. The Trail Blazers, of course, made a late run just to get in the playoffs and even won the play-in game to find their way there. So, in total, they have now won seven of their last nine, all of which have been in the Orlando ‘bubble.’ Damian Lillard, as you would expect, had a big evening, putting up 34 points to lead all scorers. Not exactly a feat that is surprising given his recent play. The 100-93 win saw LeBron James play extremely well, as he posted a triple-double with 23 points, 17 rebounds, and 16 assists. It just wasn’t enough in his first Lakers postseason game to get them over the line, and they’ll now fight from behind.
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