Brook Lopez had to change his game amid the NBA’s 3-point revolution and become a stretch five, a center who shot and made 3-pointers.
He adapted with skill.
But in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals, the Milwaukee Bucks veteran went back in time to a day when he roamed the paint with dominance.
Lopez scored a playoff career-high 33 points and had seven rebounds, four blocks and two steals in Milwaukee’s 123-112 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday. The win gives the Bucks a 3-2 series lead and puts them one victory from the franchise’s first NBA Finals appearance since 1974.
“I’m just trying to go out there and help my team however possible, whether it’s playing that new, modern 3-ball game, floor-stretch game or being inside,” Lopez said.
Normally, All-NBA forward Giannis Antetokounmpo rules the paint for the Bucks, but he missed the game with a hyperextended left knee sustained in Game 4.