Milwaukee swept the season series against Orlando, winning four games by an average of 17 points, but struggled with the Magic’s stingy defence, which repeatedly clogged the lane and forced Antetokounmpo to settle for jump shots.
The Bucks’ frustration was evident when centre Brook Lopez stomped on a chair — and then kicked it — in the bench area during a timeout.
The Magic led most of the game.
Orlando used an early 15-2 run to build a 51-33 lead midway through the second quarter behind 16 points from Vucevic.
The Bucks bounced back to close the gap to 10 at half-time as Antetokounmpo began to assert himself offensively, finishing the first half 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Milwaukee made several runs in the second half, but the Magic had an answer every time.
Vucevic had 14 points in the third quarter, scoring down low against smaller defenders and stepping out to knock down threes against bigger men as the Magic carried a 13-point lead into the fourth quarter.
The Bucks trimmed the lead to six in the fourth, but Ross had a dunk and a lay-up off hard cuts to the basket and Augustin and Vucevic added threes to push the lead back to 14. Evan Fournier, who went scoreless for three quarters, then buried the Bucks with three three-pointers in the final five minutes.
Later, Tyler Herro’s jumper with 8:52 remaining broke a tie and the Miami Heat ran away for a 113-101 win over the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday to open their series.
Game 2 in the best-of-seven series will be held Thursday.
Jimmy Butler went for a game-high 28 points and Goran Dragic 24 – including four key hoops down the stretch – for Miami, who beat the Pacers for the second time in three meetings since the NBA restart.