It wasn’t pretty, but the Bucks came out ahead with their first win of 16 needed in their quest to repeat as world champions. Defeating the Chicago Bulls in a low-scoring affair, 93-86, the Bucks started the game hot with nine unanswered points, but the Bulls battled back to make it a tight contest until the final seconds of the Easter Sunday matchup.
Giannis led all scorers with 27 points despite limited minutes due to his five personal fouls throughout the game, and Brook Lopez also helped the team start their playoff run with a W, adding 18 points of his own. On the Bulls’ side of things, their entire starting five shot below 50 percent with a negative plus-minus across the board. The bench, however, kept the Bulls' Game 1 hopes alive thanks to Coby White’s 12 points.
Although the Bucks will certainly need to break the 100-mark on multiple occasions to have a deep playoff run this year, the team kept their composure in the final minutes and made sure that fans at Fiserv Forum and outside in Deer District were able to celebrate Easter with a Bucks win. And to celebrate the starting the playoffs 1-0, here are our favorite images from the team’s Game 1 victory.
1. Playoff basketball is back
Playoff basketball is officially back in the city of Milwaukee. Although Chicago fans definitely showed up at Fiserv Forum on Sunday, the home crowd was loud in support of the defending champs for the sold-out crowd. The energy was electric from start to finish, thanks in part to the very close game and dedicated fans that packed the arena.
2. Giannis delivers
Giannis played relatively limited minutes due to foul trouble (34) but still led all scorers with 27 points and 16 rebounds. The Greek Freak also had an impressive 19-point plus/minus with his time on the court. Except for his bad free throw shooting by his recent standards, Giannis played a great game for all four quarters.
3. Deer District is rain or shine
With Downtown sitting at just a few degrees above freezing, Deer District certainly wasn’t as lively as it will be when the city warms up, but it was still great to have the set-up back for fans. Deer District is rain or shine – or in this case hot or cold – and with sold-out crowds filling the arena, it’s great to give fans another venue for their playoff experience.
4. Bobby! Bobby! Bobby!
Leave it to Bobby Portis to give the Bucks a spark of energy when he checks into the game, especially against his former team. He’s a fan favorite and will provide even more to the team this playoff run than just the quality points he provides off the bench.
5. Home court for everyone but Grayson
It would have been hard to follow the game by crowd noise alone on Sunday night. When the Bucks would score, cheers would follow. When the Bulls would score, cheers would follow. The Bucks fans clearly outnumbered the Bulls fans, but Chicago definitely had a loud voice in the arena. The only time you could hear strong boos throughout the crowd was when Grayson Allen checked into the game. Bucks fans have embraced Grayson Allen this season; however, many Bulls fans are still upset over Allen’s foul that injured Alex Caruso earlier this year.
6. Brook gets buckets
Brook Lopez got the game started with consecutive points to kickstart the Bucks’ 9-0 run to begin the game. Lopez added 18 points to the box score and despite shooting just 1-of-5 from beyond the arc, Lopez still had a 50 percent field-goal percentage throughout the game. The Bucks are a different team with Brook Lopez, and they are happy to have him back for the playoffs.
7. Chicago won’t quit
The Bulls held the Bucks to just 93 points at home but still lost the game. However you can expect the Bulls to come out confident for Game 2 on Wednesday night. Including last night’s victory, the Bucks are 5-0 against their border rivals this season, but the Bulls are certainly capable of putting up a good fight. Bucks fans however would love to see a quick sweep!