Mike Budenholzer opted to play his starters for the majority of this Detroit Pistons game, and they certainly delivered up to their standards, with the Milwaukee Bucks absolutely dominating their opponent from tip to final buzzer, 131-101. Giannis Antetokounmpo started out slowly, but ramped up his scoring in a hurry to end with 30 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists in 28 minutes.
In terms of seeding purposes, the Bucks are now locked into the top three in the East.
Bucks up big on the Pistons, a win clinches a top-3 seed for the Bucks.— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) April 9, 2022
The Detroit Pistons couldn’t find the bottom of the net to save their lives in the first period, partially due to the Bucks defensive effort, partially due to some luck, but Milwaukee took a 30-8 lead following the first. In the second period, the Pistons battled back valiantly alongside some three-point reversion to the mean assisting them, but the Bucks hit back with a scoring run of their own to lead 56-38 at half despite only six points from Giannis. Milwaukee kept its starters in throughout the third period and the narrative didn’t change much at all, as they went up 90-68 to start the fourth. To my surprise, Bud stuck with his starters fairly deep into the final period still, but there was no real competition.
Here’s the only real consequential development from the game.
George Hill will not return to tonight's game with abdominal soreness.— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) April 9, 2022
And as an UPDATE to that development, this is not great news for a Bucks team that was finally looking healthy.
Per the team, the Bucks originally called the injury that forced George Hill's exit from tonight's game "abdominal soreness". Upon further examination, that has now been changed and the official designation will be "back spasms" for Hill.— Eric Nehm (@eric_nehm) April 9, 2022
Stat that Stood Out
Milwaukee has had their defensive issues in the second half of the season, but that certainly wasn’t the case here as the Pistons started off 1-16 from the field. Milwaukee’s 98.8 defensive rating would rank in their top ten stingiest performances of the year, even with several minutes of garbage/backup time included in this one.