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Milwaukee vs. Detroit: Bucks Put Away Pistons, 104-90

Milwaukee is now riding a seven-game winning streak

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

Make it seven wins in a row for the Milwaukee Bucks, as they topple the Detroit Pistons by a score of 104-90. With the victory, the Bucks now advance to 13-3 on the season.

It’d be a slightly cold start from the floor for the home team in this one, mainly from beyond the perimeter. They’d go 0-for-4 to begin, but a connection from Wesley Matthews sparked the offense. From there, the Bucks would extend things to a 12 point lead. However, seven points off the bench from Derrick Rose would provide a boost for Detroit, as they slashed things back to single-digits. After 12 minutes were played, the Bucks held a 27-24 advantage.

Milwaukee would start to find their footing in the second period, thanks in large part to that Giannis Antetokounmpo fella. A slew of dunks would catapult the Bucks into a stronger position, as the rest of the squad would begin to follow Antetokounmpo’s lead. Heading into intermission, the Bucks had built up a 54-47 lead — the final play being a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by George Hill in the corner.

Things would pick up and pick up fast for the Bucks in the third quarter. Right out of the gates, Milwaukee’s lead ballooned to as many as 17 points. Nonetheless, the nail was never really pounded into Detroit’s coffin, as they found themselves in the midst of things following a 7-0 run. Transitioning into the final period of play, the Bucks would still only hold a single-digit lead, 77-69.

Despite the lead being eight moving into the fourth quarter, it never felt as if Milwaukee was in any real danger. With the talent that was on the floor and the pieces that were missing from Detroit’s lineup, it was expected for the Bucks to pull away — and that’s exactly what happened. From that point on, they’d put on the cruise control and coast across the checkered flag with a 104-90 win, making it seven in a row.

Giannis Antetokounmpo finished as the top performer for the Bucks, notching 28 points on 12-of-22 shooting. Wesley Matthews (13 points) and Eric Bledsoe (11 points) were the only other two Bucks that would finish in double figures.

For the Pistons, Derrick Rose led the way, finishing with 20 points and a game-high six assists. Andre Drummond tallied his 14th double-double with 12 points and a game-high 17 boards. It was his ninth game of the season with 15+ rebounds.

The Bucks will have their hands full in their next matchup, as the Jazz make their lone regular season appearance at Fiserv Forum. You know that the Bucks will want to get revenge against them after having a sour taste in their mouth following that buzzer-beating loss they suffered in Salt Lake City.

Three Observations

With last night’s double-double, Giannis placed himself in some exclusive company.

We all know that the Greek Freak has been matching last season’s efforts (and then plus some) to start this campaign, and he continued it last night. He’d earn his 16th consecutive double-double, scoring 28 points (12-of-22 from the floor), hauling in 10 rebounds, and dishing out five assists. What’s that exclusive company, you might ask? Those 16 straight double-doubles now mark the longest double-double streak to start a season since Moses Malone had 16 straight of his own to begin the 1981-82 season. I posted this in my Rapid Recap (but it deserves to be posted again), as two of those 28 points came via this nifty alley-oop:

It’s not often you see that route/angle on an alley-oop, especially from that distance. However, that’s just business as usual for Antetokounmpo. Just another wild play that can be chalked up as a play that’s expected.

After scoring zero points in an outing a few nights ago, Wesley Matthews is starting to get into a groove.

That game in Chicago was definitely one of the poorer performances of Matthews’ established career, but it’s clear he’s not letting it get to him. With his 13 points last night, he’s now surpassed the double-figure mark in three consecutive contests. I asked Budenholzer what he attributes the recent success to:

With a crafty veteran like Matthews, it’s anticipated that he bounces back like that after a goose egg performance. Having a seasoned player like him also adds to the chemistry of the squad, and he discussed how fun it is to mix it up with the playmakers on the roster in his postgame availability:

“I mean, it’s a great feeling. You know, to give the ball up, you know you’re going to get it back if you’re open, and vice-versa too. To make the right plays, it’s a rewarding feeling because you just feel good about it. You feel good seeing your teammates thrive, because you just know that everything comes in full circle. You know, if you make that extra pass, then the basketball gods often reward you. That extra pass is going to come back to you at some point.”

Sterling Brown showed some strong tenacity rebounding the basketball.

For just the second time this season, Sterling Brown surpassed the double-digit mark for rebounds, totaling 10 on the night (one short of his season-high at Orlando). It’s definitely being noticed by the players and Budenholzer himself, who discussed it in his postgame presser:

“We talk about it [Sterling’s rebounding] often. I think one of the first words that comes out of my mouth when we talk about Sterling is his toughness. It doesn’t matter whether he’s guarding a big guy or whoever, he just has a toughness and plays with a toughness. We put him on Drummond for a stretch tonight. We want our team to embody that and play like that and he’s just been great. He goes and gobbles up boards. When he goes and gets it, he has a knack for it. He’s a unique tool to have in your toolbox defensively.”

I couldn’t have said it any better myself. Even though he might not be posting the flashiest scoring totals, the contributions that Brown makes goes a long way in being an ingredient for a Bucks win. Having that sort of character in the remaining games without Khris Middleton will further solidify that.

Bonus Bucks Bits

  • Seven game win streak, baby! With the victory, the Bucks are now a season-high 10 games over .500 at 13-3.
  • With Ersan sitting out this one out with left heel soreness, DJ Wilson earned some minutes. In his 15+ minutes of action, he posted seven points, four rebounds, and two assists. It’s nice to see him show that he’s ready to be called upon, and his teammates noted that postgame. Matthews even discussed how he talked to him while in an elevator in Atlanta. We all know the production that Wilson can produce, and if Ersan continues to be sidelined with this injury, he’ll be relied on even more.
  • Mo Williams was shown on the jumbotron in-between last night’s action. Therefore, this means I’m obligated to include the highlight of his buzzer-beater vs. the Pacers in this recap:

This is one of the Bucks memories that I hold closest to my heart, as I’ll never forget listening to Ted Davis call it on the airwaves with my brother in our basement.

  • For the fifth consecutive game, Brook Lopez blocked multiple shots. Of the 16 games played so far this season, he’s had multiple blocks in 11 of them — which ties him for the second-most such games in the NBA this year.
  • My last bullet point pays homage to one of my favorite commercials of all-time. During the Kiss Cam, a man proposed to his lady. Whenever that happens, I always tweet out this commercial, which is absolute gold:

I always lose it at the guy spilling his beer at the end. Always.