Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo reacts after making a shot in the course of the second half of Recreation 1 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff sequence towards the Detroit Pistons Sunday, April 14, 2019, in Milwaukee. The Bucks received 121-86 (AP Picture/Aaron Gash)
Giannis Antetokounmpo ran and dunked everywhere in the Pistons till they only shoved him to the bottom.
The workforce with the NBA’s greatest document needed to indicate it may well make an extended playoff run, and the Detroit Pistons had been helpless to gradual them down.
“I do not know in the event that they had been prepared for us,” Antetokounmpo mentioned. “However we simply attempt to give attention to ourselves. We simply attempt to play with tempo, run to our spots and attempt to make performs.”
Antetokounmpo had 24 factors and 17 rebounds in simply 24 minutes, and the Milwaukee Bucks rolled to a 121-86 victory on Sunday evening within the opener of their first-round playoff sequence.
Seven gamers scored in double figures for the Bucks, who led by as many as 43 factors. Their 35-point margin was the third-largest within the franchise’s playoff historical past.
The Pistons solely actually caught as much as Antetokounmpo when heart Andre Drummond shoved him to the bottom with each palms late within the third quarter, after the MVP candidate grabbed an offensive rebound with Detroit trailing by 41 factors.
Drummond was given a flagrant 2 foul and ejected. He blew a kiss to the Fiserv Discussion board crowd as he was escorted off the court docket.
“As a workforce we talked about it, to attempt to preserve our composure each time the opposing workforce tries to foul us arduous or tries to hit us or play soiled,” Antetokounmpo mentioned. “Clearly, I am not going to look to the referees for defense. I’ve simply received to play good and attempt to keep away from the conditions.”
Antetokounmpo was solely 5 of 12 on free throws and 1 of 5 from Three-point vary, however was 9 for 17 from the sector.
Eric Bledsoe had 15 factors, and Brook Lopez and Khris Middleton every added 14 for the Bucks. George Hill scored 16 factors off the bench.
“We had been everywhere in the map defensively and did not get something accomplished,” coach Dwane Casey mentioned of the Pistons, who allowed 70 first-half factors and trailed by 27 at intermission. “We now have one other degree now we have to get to with our depth and physicality, as a result of they’re coming via there with stability, Euro-stepping, throwing elbows and stuff like this.
“We now have to get our degree of competitiveness as much as begin the sport, as a result of you possibly can’t spot an ideal workforce like this that many factors and count on to get again into it.”
Luke Kennard paced the Pistons with 21 factors off the bench and Drummond had 12 factors and 12 rebounds. Reggie Jackson additionally had 12 factors. Detroit performed with out ahead Blake Griffin, who sat out with a left knee harm.
Detroit shot 38% from the sector and went Eight of 27 from Three-point distance (29.6.
“I believe it was top-notch as we speak,” Bledsoe mentioned of the Bucks’ defensive efficiency. “Brook was defending the paint all evening. We had been getting steals, taking part in our sport and getting out in transition. We began early in order that helped us out.”
The Bucks sank 15 Three-pointers, only one shy of tying a playoff excessive, and compiled 31 assists on 44 made area targets.
Drummond received the defensive project on Antetokounmpo after Thon Maker received in early foul bother attempting to cease him.
“I’ve watched that child since he received drafted so I do know his sport just like the again of my hand,” Drummond mentioned. “He’s simply going to place his head down and preserve driving in there. (The plan) is to make him take powerful pictures, take prices when he does attempt to bulldog his approach in, drive him to take Three-point pictures, and if we do foul him, foul him as arduous as doable.”
GRIFFIN GETS A TECH
Griffin was issued a technical foul for protesting Drummond’s ejection. Casey mentioned he understood what the referees had been doing to maintain management of the sport however thought a flagrant 1 foul would have been extra acceptable.
“I believe it was a flagrant however I do not assume Andre deserved to be out the remainder of the sport,” Griffin mentioned. “At the very least that’s my opinion in actual time.”
Casey mentioned he thought Griffin didn’t deserve a technical.
“What I did not perceive was an official coming over and having a dialog with a participant that is not even taking part in and giving him a technical,” Casey mentioned. “It is a scorching state of affairs. Stroll to the opposite aspect of the ground as a substitute of getting a dialog.”
Griffin mentioned it was irritating having to observe Recreation 1 from the sideline.
“I by no means wish to really feel like I am leaving my guys on the market,” Griffin mentioned. “However I’ve to do what our group, our coaching employees, our docs assume is greatest, and that’s the backside line.”
Detroit: Maker confronted his former workforce and began in Griffin’s place. He prevented a flagrant foul when he introduced Antetokounmpo to the ground within the second quarter. The referees reviewed the play however stayed with their unique name of a typical foul. Maker had 4 factors and 4 rebounds in 22 minutes and was booed closely by the house crowd. “Thon is my little brother,” Antetokounmpo mentioned. “I’ve identified him since he got here to the league. We have been pals. However I do know he is a competitor. I do know he will come out right here and do no matter he can to assist his workforce win. . Detroit entered with a 14-Three playoff document towards Milwaukee, profitable all 4 sequence.
Milwaukee: F Nikola Mirotic performed 15 minutes whereas scoring 4 factors on 2-of-Eight taking pictures. “He is simply getting again in conditioning and well being and all the things like that,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer mentioned. Mirotic had missed the final 11 regular-season video games after fracturing his left thumb on March 19 towards the Los Angeles Lakers. … The Bucks’ 70 factors had been the second-most in a primary half in franchise playoff historical past. They scored 77 towards Philadelphia within the Jap Division semifinals in March 1970.
Recreation 2 is Wednesday evening in Milwaukee.