Giannis Antetokounmpo ran and dunked all around the Pistons till they simply shoved him to the bottom.
The workforce with the NBA’s greatest report needed to indicate it may well make a protracted playoff run, and the Detroit Pistons had been helpless to gradual them down.
“I do not know in the event that they had been prepared for us,” Antetokounmpo stated. “However we simply attempt to deal with ourselves. We simply attempt to play with tempo, run to our spots and attempt to make performs.”
Antetokounmpo had 24 factors and 17 rebounds in simply 24 minutes, and the Milwaukee Bucks rolled to a 121-86 victory on Sunday evening within the opener of their first-round playoff sequence.
Seven gamers scored in double figures for the Bucks, who led by as many as 43 factors. Their 35-point margin was the third-largest within the franchise’s playoff historical past.
The Pistons solely actually caught as much as Antetokounmpo when middle Andre Drummond shoved him to the bottom with each fingers late within the third quarter, after the MVP candidate grabbed an offensive rebound with Detroit trailing by 41 factors.
Drummond was given a flagrant 2 foul and ejected. He blew a kiss to the Fiserv Discussion board crowd as he was escorted off the courtroom.
“As a workforce we talked about it, to attempt to preserve our composure at any time when the opposing workforce tries to foul us onerous or tries to hit us or play soiled,” Antetokounmpo stated. “Clearly, I am not going to look to the referees for defense. I’ve simply received to play sensible and attempt to keep away from the conditions.”
Antetokounmpo was solely 5 of 12 on free throws and 1 of 5 from 3-point vary, however was 9 for 17 from the sector.
Eric Bledsoe had 15 factors, and Brook Lopez and Khris Middleton every added 14 for the Bucks. George Hill scored 16 factors off the bench.
“We had been all around the map defensively and did not get something carried out,” coach Dwane Casey stated of the Pistons, who allowed 70 first-half factors and trailed by 27 at intermission. “We have now one other stage we have now to get to with our depth and physicality, as a result of they’re coming by there with stability, Euro-stepping, throwing elbows and stuff like this.
“We have now to get our stage of competitiveness as much as begin the sport, as a result of you’ll be able to’t spot an incredible workforce like this that many factors and anticipate to get again into it.”
Luke Kennard paced the Pistons with 21 factors off the bench and Drummond had 12 factors and 12 rebounds. Reggie Jackson additionally had 12 factors. Detroit performed with out ahead Blake Griffin, who sat out with a left knee harm.
Detroit shot 38% from the sector and went Eight of 27 from 3-point distance (29.6.
“I believe it was top-notch in the present day,” Bledsoe stated of the Bucks’ defensive efficiency. “Brook was defending the paint all evening. We had been getting steals, enjoying our recreation and getting out in transition. We began early in order that helped us out.”
The Bucks sank 15 3-pointers, only one shy of tying a playoff excessive, and compiled 31 assists on 44 made subject targets.
Drummond received the defensive task on Antetokounmpo after Thon Maker received in early foul hassle making an attempt to cease him.
“I’ve watched that child since he received drafted so I do know his recreation just like the again of my hand,” Drummond stated. “He’s simply going to place his head down and preserve driving in there. (The plan) is to make him take robust photographs, take prices when he does attempt to bulldog his method in, drive him to take 3-point photographs, and if we do foul him, foul him as onerous as doable.”
GRIFFIN GETS A TECH
Griffin was issued a technical foul for protesting Drummond’s ejection. Casey stated he understood what the referees had been doing to maintain management of the sport however thought a flagrant 1 foul would have been extra acceptable.
“I believe it was a flagrant however I do not suppose Andre deserved to be out the remainder of the sport,” Griffin stated. “Not less than that’s my opinion in actual time.”
Casey stated he thought Griffin didn’t deserve a technical.
“What I did not perceive was an official coming over and having a dialog with a participant that is not even enjoying and giving him a technical,” Casey stated. “It is a sizzling scenario. Stroll to the opposite aspect of the ground as an alternative of getting a dialog.”
Griffin stated it was irritating having to observe Recreation 1 from the sideline.
“I by no means wish to really feel like I am leaving my guys on the market,” Griffin stated. “However I’ve to do what our group, our coaching employees, our docs suppose is greatest, and that’s the backside line.”
Detroit: Maker confronted his former workforce and began in Griffin’s place. He averted a flagrant foul when he introduced Antetokounmpo to the ground within the second quarter. The referees reviewed the play however stayed with their authentic name of a standard foul. Maker had 4 factors and 4 rebounds in 22 minutes and was booed closely by the house crowd. “Thon is my little brother,” Antetokounmpo stated. “I’ve identified him since he got here to the league. We have been pals. However I do know he is a competitor. I do know he’ll come out right here and do no matter he can to assist his workforce win. . Detroit entered with a 14-Three playoff report towards Milwaukee, profitable all 4 sequence.
Milwaukee: F Nikola Mirotic performed 15 minutes whereas scoring 4 factors on 2-of-Eight capturing. “He is simply getting again in conditioning and well being and every little thing like that,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer stated. Mirotic had missed the final 11 regular-season video games after fracturing his left thumb on March 19 towards the Los Angeles Lakers. … The Bucks’ 70 factors had been the second-most in a primary half in franchise playoff historical past. They scored 77 towards Philadelphia within the Japanese Division semifinals in March 1970.
Recreation 2 is Wednesday evening in Milwaukee.