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#pounditFriday, January 22, 2021

No. 1 seeds Lakers and Bucks lose Game 1 of playoffs on same day

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This year’s NBA playoffs are unusual, so it’s no surprise that they have yielded some unusual results over the first two days.

On Tuesday, three of the four playoff games featured lower-seeded teams winning their games, including the most notable ones: the No. 1 seeds from each conference suffered Game 1 defeats.

In the first game of the day in Orlando, Fla., the No. 8 Magic defeated the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks 122-110. Then in the final game of the day, the No. 8 seed Portland Trail Blazers beat the No. 1 seed Los Angeles Lakers 100-93.

This was the first time since 2003 that both No. 1 seeds lost Game 1 of the playoffs. Of course, this year is much different from 2003.

The NBA’s resumed season is taking place on a neutral court at Disney World in Orlando. There is no home court, nor will there be extensive traveling from city to city. There are no home fans chanting and screaming and trying to intimidate opposing players and referees. There are no home fans uplifting their players and giving them energy. This might turn out to be the purest playoff ever as a result.

So far, some of the results have been unusual.

In the first game on Tuesday, Nikola Vucevic was the story. He stood out for Orlando with 35 points and 14 rebounds. The Magic also went 16/41 on threes (39 percent) compared to 14/42 (33.3 percent) for Milwaukee.

In the last game, the Lakers shot a pathetic 5/32 on threes (15.6 percent), which played a big role in their loss. Damian Lillard was hot again with 34 points and even did a dance during the game.

Should Lakers or Bucks fans be worried? At least in the Lakers’ case, LeBron James has never once lost a first-round playoff series in his career (13-0). This would be one heck of a time for him to end the streak, and it will take three more wins from Portland, which won’t be easy.

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