Arguably the best parts of the NBA Playoffs are the completely random breakout performances by someone you’d never expect. In Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals in Milwaukee, that player was Brook Lopez, who submitted one of the best performances of his career as he led the Bucks to a 108-100 win and 1-0 series lead.
Lopez was everywhere on Wednesday night, scoring a postseason career-high 29 points on 12-for-21 shooting, to go along with 11 rebounds and four blocked shots. It was sweet vindication for the player who was jettisoned from the Lakers last summer despite having reinvented himself as a stretch big for the modern era.
He hasn’t exactly been Splash Mountain this postseason, averaging just eight points per game on 24 percent shooting from three, but he broke out of that slump in a major way in Game 1 to help the Bucks retain home-court advantage. He was doing it in every conceivable way, knocking down timely three-pointers and even showing off a nimble up-and-under move in the lane at one point in the second half.