One game the team managed their minutes most effectively on Monday night was when the Milwaukee Bucks hosted the Detroit Pistons at Fiserv forum as the Bucks eliminated three bankers with an injury and the Pistons two of their top scorers incapacitated. But it was becoming a competition that was going to be bigger: the speed at which the bucks put dunks and layups against three-pointer pistons.
Of course three is bigger than two, but the Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo filled the basket at a fast enough rate before making three themselves to win 125-115.
« Thanks to Detroit, they just keep playing, » said Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer. « They have people who play really hard, trained well, coach (Dwane) Casey does a great job and they just keep coming up to us, coming up to us and meeting some big threesomes, tough threesomes. «
Starting the game on Monday night was another entry point to victory for the Bucks, who entered the game as the league’s top three-point shooting team and had a conversion rate of 43. 9%. This shot did not fall at the same rate at the beginning of the game, but the pistons seemed to have little trouble defending the rim. So the bucks – and especially Antetokounmpo – kept responding to it.
Milwaukee scored 62 points in the suit and Antetokounmpo scored 43 points in the 17-of-24 shooting. He made two of his six three-point attempts and went 7 for 9 from the free throw line. He added nine rebounds and four assists.
Detroit was able to hang around when it shot 42. 5% out of three (17 out of 40) to walk off the bench with a spirited offensive performance from Derrick Rose (24 points) – but the pistons couldn’t keep up with the pace at which Antetokounmpo and the bucks inside were scoring.
Then the bucks started doing threes in the third quarter and that went on into the fourth quarter to add some comfort to the scoreboard.
Brook Lopez (eight points), Khris Middleton (19), Bryn Forbes (10), Jrue Holiday (15 points, seven assists) and Antetokounmpo scored from a long distance in the second half when a seven point lead was increased up to 18.
The Pistons cut it to 118-110 at 2:38 and threatened to turn it into a two-ball game, but Antetokounmpo blocked a Sekou Doumbouya drive and then reset a Donte DiVincenzo who missed three pointers on the other end to stop a run of 14-5 pistons and give the bucks a 120-110 head start and essentially end the Detroit threat.
« The blocked shot and the put-back were great, » said Budenholzer. « You don’t want it to be six or five. We have to end the fourth quarter a little better. I guess we didn’t want to play the way we started the quarter. Then, also a little bit down the track. Some things to look at and work on. ”
Doumbouya scored 10 points for Detroit from the bench and was one of eight players to hit at least a three-pointer to keep the pistons in play. Jerami Grant added 24 points for the pistons.
Antetokounmpo scored 30 points in the first half by taking 12 of his 14 shots from the ground and all five of his free throws. He scored in almost every way you could in the suit, from jumping hooks to finger rolling to put-back slams. He also drilled a three-pointer.
It was the fourth time in his career that Antetokounmpo had scored at least as much in one half.
The Bucks only shot 38. 5% (5 for 13) from a distance in the first half but shot 60. 9% off the ground for scoring 40 points in the suit and 12 at break to get a 65-56 lead at half time. The pistons, however, shot 42. 9% from a long distance, but only 36. 5% from the ground. They hung around thanks to their nine three-pointers.
The Bucks improved 4-3 year-over-year and 3-0 at home when they won their second game in a row. It was her eighth straight season win over the Pistons, which dropped to 1-6.
Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Josh Jackson, NBA, Blake Griffin
World News – AU – Bucks 125, Pistons 115: Milwaukee does its damage on the trail by three fall
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