Less than a minute later, Giannis found Lopez just like Giannis had been finding all of his teammates for open threes all game, and all season. Lopez hit again.
It went on like that for the rest of the game. It became his quarter, his game, his night.
13. Lopez poured in 13 points in the fourth quarter to match a scorching Kyle Lowry, as both shot 5–7 from the field in the fourth quarter, and both hit three from deep. But Lopez distinguished himself with not only massive offensive contributions, but also game-preserving defensive plays against Toronto’s singular talent…
2. Lopez blocked two shots in the fourth quarter, and they were both on Kawhi Leonard. On a very related note, Kawhi did not make a shot (0–3) in the fourth quarter, as the majority of his shot attempts were blocked by Lopez.
4. With less than two minutes to play in regulation, Lopez starred in the sequence of the night, and of the season, so far. First he hit a three off a dish from (surprise, surprise) Giannis to give the Bucks a 104–100 lead.
Then he blocked Kawhi on the next possession.
Then, after Danny Green stole the ball from Giannis, he missed a three, but the ball fortuitously skipped straight back out to the aforementioned white-hot Lowry, and it this point there was no doubt that it was going in. Lowry without a hint of hesitation fired and held his follow-through, but it did not go in, and Lopez grabbed the rebound (his fourth of the fourth quarter) before a resigned Kawhi could think about getting his paws on it. And at that moment it felt all the way to be his game, rather than Lowry’s or Kawhi’s or anyone else’s.
16. For all the attention that will rightfully go to how Lopez broke the game open with his fourth quarter bombs, he was a force inside throughout the game, finishing with more points in the paint (16) than anyone on either team, and that includes Giannis (14). The Raptors as a team only had 26 points in the paint.
14–4. The Bucks outrebounded the Raptors 14–4 in the fourth quarter. The Bucks had as many offensive rebounds (4) as the Raptors had defensive rebounds (4). In a battle of two of the best rebounding teams, the Bucks decisively won the boards late.
6. Speaking of fourth quarter rebounds, Khris Middleton had as many rebounds (6) as the Raptors had as a team. Despite an off shooting night (4–12 from the field), Middleton racked up a +15 in the decisive fourth quarter while playing excellent defense, rebounding, and making passes like this.
4. George Hill was eventually going to miss a shot or two, even if it felt impossible against the Celtics, and he missed all six of his shots in Game 1 against the Raptors. But he scooped up four steals, including picking Lowry three times. And, he is taking the ball away, but not giving it away…
4. With four more assists and zero turnovers in Game 1, Hill is now sporting a truly obscene 10.3:1 assist to turnover ratio in the playoffs, by far the best, with 31 assists and just three turnovers.
55.6/50/100. Brogdon, who put up a 50/40/90 regular season, looked a bit like himself in Game 1 against the Raptors, both in terms of his noted shooting splits and otherwise.
88–88. With the game tied, the Bucks briefly went to a Giannis-at-center lineup, and on the first defensive possession, he got switched on to the infallible Lowry, who promptly got swallowed up by the should-be MVP and should-be Defensive Player of the Year.