NBA: Brook Lopez leads Milwaukee Bucks past Toronto Raptors in Eastern Conference Finals opener

Brook Lopez scored a playoff-career-best 29 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as Milwaukee used a fourth-quarter surge to defeat Toronto 108-100 on Thursday (NZ time) in the opening game of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Lopez scored 13 of his record haul in the final quarter, while Giannis Antetokounmpo added 24 points and 14 rebounds for the Bucks who also host Game 2 on Saturday.

Malcolm Brogdon added 15 points off the bench for Milwaukee, while Nikola Mirotic scored 13 points, and Khris Middleton had 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Kawhi Leonard led the Raptors with 31 points and nine rebounds, Kyle Lowry had 30 points, Pascal Siakam scored 15 points, and Marc Gasol had six points and 12 rebounds.

The Bucks trailed for 37 of the game's 48 minutes and by as many as 13 points in the first quarter.

Milwaukee stayed close enough until they could finish with a serious kick, scoring the first eight points of the fourth quarter to lead by one.

The Raptors missed their last eight shots and were outscored 32-17 in the final period, shooting just five of 22.

Toronto is now 3-15 in game ones, falling to 8-1 in these playoffs when leading at halftime, but in a positive for the Raptors, Lowry's seven three-pointers were a season high, a playoff career high and one off his career high.