Bucks resume NBA playoffs after sparking historic stoppage

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Members of the Milwaukee Bucks join arms as they kneel during the national anthem before an NBA basketball first round playoff game against the Orlando Magic Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The Milwaukee Bucks came to the arena and prepared for a game, just as they did three days earlier.

This time, they played it.

The rescheduled Game 5 of the Bucks' series against Orlando began Saturday as the NBA postseason resumed after a historic stoppage that players hope will bring change in their communities.

“It was a moment in which the world needed and obviously we know this is going to be a long, ongoing process,” Bucks guard Wesley Matthews said. “But we’re in. We’re in the trenches and we’re in this fight for the long haul.”

The teams were scheduled to play Wednesday afternoon, but the Bucks decided not to take the court to show their frustration over the police shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, along with other acts of racial injustice.

That led to a two-day postponement of games that ended when players and owners agreed to expanded initiatives, many tied to increased voting awareness and opportunities, such as the use of NBA arenas as polling sites. Teams then began practicing again Friday and three games were to be played Saturday.

The Bucks won 118-104 to reach the second round.

Matthews said he was putting on his uniform shorts about 20 minutes before the game was set to begin Wednesday when the Bucks decided they wouldn't play. The Magic were already on the court warming up.