Magic hold on to upend mighty Bucks in playoff opener
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Los Angeles (AFP) –
Nikola Vucevic tallied 35 points as the Orlando Magic upset the top seeded Milwaukee Bucks 122-110 in the opening game of their NBA Eastern Conference playoff series on Tuesday.
The Magic got off to a quick start to seize a double digit lead then blunted a second-half rally by the Bucks, who boast the league's top player Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Orlando came into the series as big underdogs against the NBA's best all-around team.
Vucevic, of Montenegro, also had 14 rebounds and four assists. Terrence Ross finished with 18 points and six rebounds, while DJ Augustin added 11 points and 11 assists for Orlando, who shot 49 percent from the field and made 16 baskets from beyond the arc.
Reigning league MVP Antetokounmpo finished with 31 points, 17 rebounds and seven assists.
Milwaukee closed the gap to 62-52 at the half, then began the third quarter on a 16-7 run to cut Orlando's advantage to one.
The Bucks got within six points, 99-93, on a Brook Lopez basket with 8:13 to play, but Orlando answered with Ross' driving dunk and Augustin' three-pointer to push its advantage back to double digits.
Orlando's Evan Fournier was held scoreless until hitting three clutch three-pointers late in the fourth quarter to help clinch the victory.
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