It was as business-as-usual a victory as the Milwaukee Bucks have had this season, immediately jumping out to a big lead over the listless Detroit Pistons and keeping their foot on the gas all 48 minutes on the way to a 146-114 win.
With the Pistons flailing on a truly epic losing streak and the second game of a back-to-back, you’d figure a strong start from Milwaukee was in the offing. The Bucks, fueled by the exuberant energy of MarJon Beauchamp (11 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals) and Andre Jackson Jr. (10 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists), jumped to a quick 22-10 lead. Once Giannis Antetokounmpo (22 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists) and Damian Lillard (33 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds) came online, the offense began to purr as we’ve come to know it. Bucks up 43-20 after one.
The second quarter was the Bobby Portis (season-high 31 points, 12 rebounds) show benefitting as he did from a marked lack of strength/organization on the part of the Pistons. He registered consecutive and-ones off offensive rebound putbacks, registered a steal, and a pair of threes, although a sloppy close to the quarter reduced a 30 point Bucks lead to just a 81-56 scoreline at the half.
Detroit wouldn’t go away of their own accord, though. A goodly bit of energetic play combined with average effort by Milwaukee allowed the Pistons to reel it back in under 20 points, although they struggled to get it down to less than 19. While the Pistons began generating consistently good looks inside, Giannis went back to work, paying off good ball movement numerous times for dunks that helped snap Detroit’s rhythm. The score would sit at 114-83 after three.
From there, the fourth was merely a formality. Chris Livingston was checked in at about the nine minute mark and Robin Lopez did the same with six minutes left in the game, to illustrate the point. Credit goes to Lindell Wigginton for giving himself the greenest of green lights to shoot the second he stepped on the floor. Bucks win handily, 146-114.
Stat That Stood Out
To underline just how free-flowing Milwaukee’s offense was with the starters in, the Bucks dropped 81 points in the course of the first half, their best half so far this season.
Also, shoutout to Bobby for contributing his bit to history tonight:
Bobby Portis tonight:— StatMuse (@statmuse) December 17, 2023
Only the 5th bench player in NBA history to reach those numbers in a game. https://t.co/NkP41jCrJN