(Editor’s note: With Pac-12 sports gone until January, we will be recapping every NBA playoff game that includes a former Arizona Wildcat, along with some social media reaction.)
Arguably the worst team in the NBA Playoffs, at least in terms of record, the Orlando Magic shocked the bubble on Tuesday when it beat the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks in the opener of their Eastern Conference First Round series. That they did so without former UA star Aaron Gordon was even more amazing.
Gordon sat out again on Thursday, still not ready to go because of a strained left hamstring suffered on Aug. 5, and this time his absence made a huge difference.
Milwaukee jumped out to a 12-point lead after one quarter and then cruised to a 111-96 over the eighth-seeded Magic to knot their best-of-seven series at 1-1.
MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo had 28 points and 20 rebounds, becoming only the second Bucks player with a 20-20 playoff performance. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, known then as Lew Alcindor, did it 18 times.
Milwaukee also got 20 points from Brook Lopez and 15 points (on 5-of-8 3-point shooting) and 11 rebounds off the bench from Pat Connaughton.
Orlando, which has been decimated by injuries since the season resumed in the Orlando bubble, got 32 points and 10 rebounds from Nikola Vucevic.
has not played since suffering strained left hamstring Aug. 5
The Magic and Bucks will play Game 3 of their series Saturday at 10 a.m. MST.
Elsewhere in the NBA Playoffs, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Stanley Johnson of the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors are back in action Friday at 10:30 a.m. MST against the Brooklyn Nets. Toronto holds a 2-0 lead in that series.
And the only series with ex-Wildcats on both teams, between the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat, resumes at 12:30 p.m. MST. The Heat, which includes Andre Iguodala and Solomon Hill, have a 2-0 lead on the Pacers and T.J. McConnell.
What they’re saying about Arizona’s guys on social media
being deprived of aaron gordon’s dimples during this game smh— ali ☀️ (@eboldy) August 20, 2020
Aaron Gordon needs to be back next game— J-Bo™ (@Jbo321612) August 21, 2020