Down for most of the game, clearly rusty at times after nearly a full week off, the Milwaukee Bucks looked very much like a team in trouble.
Until the fourth quarter.
The team with the NBA's best record this season found its stride at the perfect time.
Brook Lopez shone as the Milwaukee Bucks took Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals
Lopez scored a career playoff-high 29 points as the Bucks beat Toronto Raptors 108-100
Brook Lopez scored 13 of his career playoff-high 29 points in the fourth quarter, Giannis Antetokounmpo added 24 points and the Bucks closed the game on a 10-0 run to beat the Toronto Raptors 108-100 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Wednesday night.
Milwaukee forced Toronto to miss their final eight shots and outscored the Raptors 32-17 in the fourth.
'I think it speaks a little bit to the character of the group,' Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. 'They just stick with it. I think it's become a little bit of a theme in the playoffs: I think eventually, hopefully, we feel like if we stick with what we're doing good things will happen for us.'
Lopez had a dunk with 2:20 left to put the Bucks ahead for good, added a 3-pointer on the next Milwaukee possession to push the lead to four and the Bucks - after trailing for the overwhelming majority of the game - did just enough in the final minutes to grab the series lead.
'I think this game definitely made us better,' Antetokounmpo said.
Malcolm Brogdon scored 15 and Nikola Mirotic had 13 for Milwaukee, which closed the game on a 10-0 run.
Giannis Antetokounmpo added 24 points as the Bucks' fourth-quarter charge saw them win
'We just did a great job of sticking with what we've been doing all post-season long,' Lopez said.
Kawhi Leonard scored 31 points and Kyle Lowry added 30 for the Raptors, who led by as many as 13 early and took an 83-76 lead into the final quarter. Lowry was five for 7 in the fourth - and his team-mates were zero for 15.
'Fourth quarter killed