On Monday night, the Milwaukee Bucks kicked off their week of hoops with a road matchup against the Detroit Pistons. Leading the regular season series 3-0, the Bucks narrowly completed the sweep with a 122-113 victory.
Malik Beasley kicked off the scoring right away, knocking down a three off of a Damian Lillard assist. From there, all five of the starters found early buckets to give the Bucks to an 18-9 lead. Jaden Ivey converted on back-to-back trips to the free throw line to get the Pistons back in it, and Marcus Sasser knocked down a step back jumper to tie the score at 30 at the end of one.
In the second quarter, Sasser swished two midrange jumpers and a layup and Alec Burks buried a 3-ball to put the Pistons back on top. The Bucks’ bench helped them crawl back into it, with quick offensive contributions from Bobby Portis and Andre Jackson Jr. AJJ tied the game at 50 with a dunk, but Ivey responded immediately with an and-one layup on the other end. With the score tied at 56 and just over a minute remaining, Khris Middleton nailed a floater from 10 feet out to give the Bucks the lead. Following misses by both teams, the 58-56 score held into the half.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Middleton kicked off the third quarter with back-to-back dunks. The teams traded possessions until the Bucks were able to stretch the lead to nine with baskets from Beasley and Giannis. A few minutes later, Isaiah Stewart hit a three to inch the Pistons closer, but Jae Crowder knocked down a deep ball of his own on the next Bucks possession. After three quarters, Milwaukee clung to a slim 89-85 advantage.
Two minutes into the fourth quarter, Sasser scored to give Detroit the lead for the first time in the second half. Giannis responded immediately with an dunk off of a Middleton lob. After the Bucks extended their lead to six late in the fourth, Sasser came away with a huge steal, only for Giannis to extend and snatch the ball back on the fast break. The ball came up the floor for a Brook Lopez dunk, and that sealed the game. The Bucks escaped Detroit with a 122-113 victory.
Stat That Stood Out
Khris Middleon swished a 3-ball late in the fourth quarter to extend the Bucks’ lead to double digits. While that shot was big for the team, it was infinitely more important for Khris personally, as he moved to third place in Bucks’ scoring history. He’s now at 12,012 career points, passing Glenn Robinson’s total of 12,010. Congrats, Khris!