While the game remained fairly close most of the night, one thing was clear. Giannis was dominating everyone Detroit could throw at him. Helping the Bucks extend their winning streak against the Pistons to eight! Let’s recap how it all transpired tonight in Milwaukee.
Giannis Starts Hot
From tip-off, the Greek Freak was a force to be reckoned with. Scoring Milwaukee’s first six points and drawing three fouls in the first 99 seconds of the game. He finished the quarter with 10 points on 5/6 shooting. The Pistons shot the ball well from three to stay in the game early.
After one quarter, the Bucks led 33-26.
The Greek Show
Despite not getting a favorable whistle for much of the first half, Giannis was as impressive as he’s ever been in the second quarter. Dominating the paint, making his free throws and splashing a three in for good measure, Giannis was cooking. The confidence he’s seemed to lack for much of the season was back in full force and Detroit couldn’t do anything to stop him.
Additionally, DJ Augustin showed out today in limited time. Swishing two three pointers in the second quarter alone to go along with some great passing. He seems to be adjusting to the offense slowly but surely.
Giannis finished the half with 30 points, a career high for one half on 9-10 shooting.
At halftime, Milwaukee headed into the locker room with a 67-56 lead.
Despite not taking many shots, Middleton was as efficient as ever tonight. At one point Khris was 5/6 from the floor for 11 points. Killing it as usual from mid-range to go along with a three pointer.
It was very evident the Pistons went all out to stop Giannis in the second half. Luckily players like Middleton and Jrue stepped up to keep the offense flowing.
Going into the fourth quarter the Bucks were up 97-80.
Pistons Make a Push
To start the final period, the Pistons made a 6-0 run and Budenholzer had to call an early timeout. For the game, Milwaukee essentially dominated every statistic except for turnovers. Lazy passing led to many turnovers late and allowed the Pistons to get back in the contest.
Thankfully when the tides seemed to be turning, Jrue was there. Holiday came through in the clutch with several key plays. Providing great defense, crisp passing, contested rebounds and big time shots; Jrue did whatever the team needed him to do.
With Detroit closing the gap to 8 points late in game, Giannis came up big with an offensive rebound and layup after Donte missed a three. Essentially putting the game out of reach. Giannis finished the game with 43 points on 17/24 shooting, 2/6 from three, and 7/9 from the free throw line.
In place of Pat Connaughton’s absence, Coach Budenholzer gave some meaningful minutes to rookie Jordan Nwora. While Nwora didn’t produce much in his eight minutes of work, it shows that Bud is gaining confidence in the young shooter. Hopefully the experience helps him perform in important situations moving forward.
The three new free agent signings all had double digits off the bench. Portis scored a smooth 10 points, Forbes supplied 10 and Augustin had an efficient 11 points to go with six assists. Both Portis and Augustin really played well in their roles and look to be significant factors down the road.
The Bucks take on the Pistons again at 7pm CST on Wednesday night at the Fiserv Forum.