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Rapid Recap: Bucks 99, Pistons 95

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NBA: Detroit Pistons at Milwaukee Bucks Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

In a close game throughout, the Milwaukee Bucks prevailed over their divisional foes, as they knocked off the visiting Detroit Pistons by a score of 99-95. A three-point Pistons advantage after the opening quarter would evolve into a gridlock at the end of the first half. Those two periods saw Giannis Antetokounmpo lead the way for Milwaukee with 13 points, and Khris Middleton supply 12 of his own.

That lead would balloon into quite a romp for Milwaukee in the third quarter, as strong defense ignited a 13-point Bucks advantag. However, that lead quickly evaporated, and the climactic action was nip-and-tuck throughout the final minutes. Eric Bledsoe flashed his clutch gene in the final seconds, with an elbow jumper and a pair of free throws that granted the Bucks their fourth consecutive victory.

Once again, this was a showing that demonstrated the steps the Bucks are taking this season. After coughing up a double-digit lead in the second half, they persevered and excelled at maintaining composure until the finish. If this game was played in previous years, it’s very likely that things could’ve gone south. This is definitely a sign that the youth is evolving to handle moments when it matters.

Khris Middleton was the leading maestro on the night, following up his strong Monday showing with 27 points tonight. It definitely seems as if his confidence is trending upwards, and when that’s occurrin, good things are going on for the Bucks. Aside from him, Giannis stamped his imprint on the game with 21 points. Bledsoe, Tony Snell, John Henson, and Malcolm Brogdon would also all finish with double-digit figures.

Milwaukee had its fair share of troubles against Avery Bradley, who led all Detroit scorers with 28 points. The Bucks did a masterful job of sealing off Reggie Jackson’s scoring abilities, as the point guard ended his night with just 6 points. He’s given the Bucks fits before, so tonight was something we could all get used to seeing. Andre Drummond finished with 13 points and 17 rebounds, but was regularly kept off-balance by the Bucks’ apparent dedication to tipping loose balls away from him.

Stat that Stood Out

I mean, you have to go with the blocked shots, right? The addition of Eric Bledsoe has crafted a vast improvement on the defensive end, and tonight it leaked into the block department. Milwaukee finished with 16 blocks on the night, with 4 apiece coming from Giannis and Thon. The Bucks only fell two short of their franchise-high 18 blocks. Swarms of Bucks were deployed whenever Detroit drew the ball down under, and they were met with authority on nearly every possession. For a team like the Bucks with such length, this is a very good sign and hopefully similar results are earned in the upcoming games.