Bucks finish with a flourish, rally to top Raptors 108-100

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Milwaukee Bucks' Brook Lopez knocks the ball from Toronto Raptors' Kawhi Leonard during the second half of Game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference basketball playoff finals on May 15, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
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Brook Lopez #11 of the Milwaukee Bucks dunks the ball over Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors in the fourth quarter in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at the Fiserv Forum on May 15, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images/AFP)
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Toronto Raptors' Kawhi Leonard passes around Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo during the second half of Game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference basketball playoff finals on May 15, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Updated 16 May 2019
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Bucks finish with a flourish, rally to top Raptors 108-100

  • Leonard became the 14th player in NBA history to score 400 points in his team’s first 13 games of a postseason run
  • Game 2 is Friday in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE, US: Brook Lopez scored 13 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter, Giannis Antetokounmpo added 24 and the Milwaukee Bucks rallied in the final minutes to beat the Toronto Raptors 108-100 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Wednesday night.
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 team that finished the regular season with the NBA’s best record — after trailing for the overwhelming majority of the game — did just enough in the final minutes to grab the series lead.
Malcolm Brogdon scored 15 and Nikola Mirotic had 13 for Milwaukee, which closed the game on a 10-0 run.
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.
Lopez added 11 rebounds for the Bucks, who had three players post double-doubles. Antetokounmpo had 14 rebounds and Khris Middleton finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds for Milwaukee, which is now 9-1 in this postseason.
The Bucks trailed for 37 of the game’s 48 minutes.
Didn’t matter. They stayed just close enough until they could finish with a serious kick. The Raptors missed their last eight shots and were outscored 32-17 in the fourth quarter.
Pascal Siakam scored 15 for Toronto, including a 3-pointer over Antetokounmpo to end the third quarter and give the Raptors a seven-point lead with 12 minutes left.
It unraveled quickly from there.
“Total team effort,” Lopez said.
With the chants of Milwaukee’s motto — “Fear the deer! Fear the deer!” — bouncing throughout the building, the Bucks predictably came out flying.
The flurry was brief.
The Bucks missed seven consecutive shots, the Raptors made four 3-pointers in a span of three minutes, and that all helped become a 16-0 run by Toronto that turned an early 8-3 deficit into a 19-8 edge. The lead got as big as 13 later in the quarter on a fadeaway jumper by Leonard, and the Raptors held the lead the rest of the half.
Milwaukee had a chance to take its first lead since the opening minutes when Antetokounmpo went to the line for a pair of free throws with 8:17 left in the third and the Bucks down by only one. He missed both and the Raptors peeled off the next nine points to rebuild what then was a 10-point lead again.
But Toronto shot 5 for 22 in the fourth, the Bucks finally reclaimed the lead, and the Raptors’ chance to steal home-court went awry.

TIP-INS
Raptors: Toronto is now 3-15 in Game 1s. ... The Raptors fell to 8-1 in these playoffs when leading at halftime. ... Lowry’s seven 3-pointers were a season high, a playoff career high and one off his career high. ... Leonard, who made the already-immortal four-bounce-off-the-rim jumper to win Game 7 of the second round against Philadelphia, got a friendly bounce in the third quarter — when a jumper hit the iron three times before falling.
Bucks: Oscar Robertson, part of Milwaukee’s lone NBA title team, was recognized in the first quarter and held the 1971 championship trophy — a large silver bowl atop a wooden base, not the golden Larry O’Brien Trophy of now — for the fans to see. ... Antetokounmpo started super-fast with two baskets, a steal, a rebound and a blocked shot, all in the first 85 seconds. ... Pearl Jam’s Jeff Ament was courtside.

EXPERIENCE
With Pau Gasol injured, George Hill is the only Milwaukee player who had appeared in a conference finals game before Wednesday. The Raptors have seven players who had been in at least one previously: Leonard, Danny Green and Serge Ibaka are all in this round for the fifth time, while Lowry, Marc Gasol, Norman Powell and Patrick McCaw have also been in this round before.

MR. 400
Leonard became the 14th player in NBA history to score 400 points in his team’s first 13 games of a postseason run.

UP NEXT
Game 2 is Friday in Milwaukee.


Saudi Arabia’s showjumping star eyes path to Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Updated 20 August 2019
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Saudi Arabia’s showjumping star eyes path to Tokyo 2020 Olympics

  • Dalma Malhas ‘honored’ to be part of national team
  • Equestrian star began riding aged four

LONDON: Saudi Arabia’s showjumping star Dalma Malhas is counting down to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics by competing in a series of crucial qualifying events.

Malhas, who has been riding since the age of four, told Arab News that she was honored to be part of the Saudi national team after “years of work and dedication.”

Next month she and her fellow showjumpers head to Morocco to take part in a series of qualifying events.

The 10th edition of the Morocco Royal Tour takes place in three cities — Tetouan, Rabat, and Eljadida —  on three consecutive weekends. The top two teams, based on their results, will qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Malhas wants to be at the prestigious sporting event in Japan. 

“The work that has been done in the past few years will manifest itself now and I’m enjoying what I’ve been working on ... I believe in destiny and hard work,” she told Arab News. “Anything could happen, but I’m hopeful and trying to focus on peak performance because it is important that, when it comes to the horse and myself, we want to be there, energetic and motivated.”

She was the first female athlete from the Kingdom to compete at an Olympic-level event, riding at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2010 in Singapore and winning a bronze medal. She participated in the 14-18 age group, becoming only the third Saudi athlete to snag an Olympic medal.

She said it was easy to buy a horse that was already trained and compete with it. But the challenge for her was to get an inexperienced horse and train him from scratch.

“I dedicated time, effort and energy. I had a vision of how he could be and transformed him into a skilled and talented horse, and step-by-step I followed that. You build a strong partnership when you go through that process. It’s an affinity you can’t really buy. This is a very big part of horsemanship and one of my biggest achievements since the Youth Olympic Games. It’s priceless, having a combination and partnership like this.”

Malhas was born in 1992. Her mother, Arwa Mutabagani, is a prominent equestrian and has been a board member at the Saudi Equestrian Federation since 2008. She was also the first woman to be appointed to the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee.

Malhas has had a thoroughly international upbringing. At 12 she moved with her mother from Saudi Arabia to Rome to train with her under Italy’s former showjumping national coach, Duccio Bartalucci, spending a decade under his tutelage.

After studying and training in Italy she joined a two-year professional program at the Fursan Equestrian Center in Chantilly, France. She has been training with Olympic champion Roger Yves Bost since 2016. 

She started 2019 by participating in several tournaments, crisscrossing Europe and gradually moving up the leaderboard. 

She has won several awards to date, including Dubai’s Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award, and can be regarded as a pioneer and role model.

Malhas said there were great opportunities for Saudi women in the fields of sports and equestrianism. She talked about the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan and how it empowered women. She also saw an opportunity to become more involved. 

“I want to give back too. I’ve been mostly focused on showjumping and training, so hopefully I’ll start giving back and contribute to society and motivate my peers in the country. I don’t mind though I’ve been enjoying the ride and after years of work I’m finally being rewarded in the best way possible.”