The Milwaukee Bucks were expected to take care of business on Wednesday night when they took on a two-win Detroit Pistons side. As it turns out, however, it was anything but an easy win for the home team as the Pistons pushed the Bucks to the limit in what was a hard-fought encounter.
In the end, Milwaukee prevailed, 120-118, but there’s no denying that the Bucks had to dig deep to muster their fifth win of the season.
Damian Lillard Vocal on Milwaukee Bucks’ Resiliency Vs. Pistons
Damian Lillard was the star of the show for Milwaukee on Wednesday night. The seven-time All-Star had no other choice but to carry his team after Bucks talisman Giannis Antetokounmpo was ejected in the third quarter for his second unsportsmanlike technical foul.
Dame finished the game with 34 points — his second-highest tally for his new team after dropping 39 points on the Philadelphia 76ers in his debut — on 10-of-25 from the floor, to go along with two triples, two rebounds, three assists, three steals, and just one turnover in 34 minutes of play. Lillard was excellent yet again from the charity stripe, going 12-of-13 on his attempts from the line.
After the win, Lillard heaped praise on the Bucks and their ability to power through adversity against the Pistons. They faced a handful of roadblocks along the way, but Milwaukee came together as a unit to carve out the victory:
“I think it was a character-building win,” Lillard said, via Eric Nehm of The Athletic. “It was an opportunity for us to fold, for our team to say, ‘All right, it wasn’t our night. We ain’t making shots. They’re making tough shots. They gave Giannis a bad tech.’ We could have made a lot of excuses for ourselves and let this one get away. But on the bench, the energy was positive.
“We communicated with each other like a real unit. And I think for it to be this early in the season and for it to be so new, we came together really well in a moment like that where it could have went the other way.”
As Lillard said, it would have been much easier for the Bucks to call it a night after Giannis was ejected. The Pistons went on a run after Antetokounmpo’s exit and they held on to the lead until deep into the fourth quarter. Milwaukee could have accepted defeat at that point, especially considering how they were set to play on the second night of a back-to-back set on Thursday.
The Bucks were having none of that, though.
For More Wisconsin Sports:
Follow me on Twitter at @PaoloSongcoNBA, and follow us @WiSportsHeroics. Also, check out our Merchandise Here! Get 20% off with the code “WSH.” You can also reach out to Paolo Songco via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To read more of our articles and keep up to date on the latest in ALL of Wisconsin sports, click here! Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee Bucks, Wisconsin Badgers.