With Milwaukee Bucks talisman Giannis Antetokounmpo getting himself ejected early in the third quarter of Wednesday’s matchup against the Detroit Pistons, it was up to the rest of the squad to carry the team to a victory.
Damian Lillard got the memo, and he made sure to step it up with his superstar partner-in-crime being forced to watch the remainder of the game from the locker room.
Damian Lillard Saves the Day for Milwaukee Bucks
Lillard answered the bell in this one, coming up with one of his best performances in a Bucks uniform thus far. The seven-time All-Star finished with a game-high 34 points on 10-of-25 shooting, to go along with two triples, two rebounds, three assists, three steals, and just one turnover in 34 minutes of action.
The Pistons, however, would not go down without a fight. They took advantage of Antetokounmpo’s ejection in the third period, outscoring their opponents 43-28 in that quarter.
Detroit even had the lead deep into the fourth quarter. Lillard and the Bucks stood strong, though, and they eventually carved out the win, 120-118.
After the game, Dame talked about his team’s resiliency as he praised Milwaukee’s ability to battle through some tough adversity against a very hungry Detroit side:
“We’re a veteran experienced team,” he said. “Even in the huddle (Bobby Portis) kept saying, ‘Let’s just stay together.’ It’s part of it. Teams go on runs. It’s a game of spurts. It was an opportunity to show the character of our team. Even though it’s early in the season, we stayed together.
“We had some adversity hit, a few technical fouls, they started getting confident, making a lot of shots. The truly together teams are able to weather those types of storms and win games when you’re up against it. We was able to get one tonight.”
As Dame said, Wednesday’s win was something Milwaukee needed. The Pistons pushed them until the end and it was a great opportunity for the Bucks to show their mettle. And that’s exactly what they did.
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