Giannis Antetokounmpo scores 33 points as Milwaukee Bucks blow past Detroit Pistons, 126-106
By DAVE HOGG
DETROIT — Like many NBA coaches, Mike Budenholzer was worried about his Milwaukee Bucks needing a game or two to get back up to speed after the All-Star break.
It wasn’t a concern for long Thursday night.
The Bucks had 70 points by halftime on their way to a 126-106 victory over the Detroit Pistons.
“That was a really impressive first half and I thought we did a lot of good things in the second half, too,” Budenholzer said. “Our energy had been good the last two days, but that doesn’t always equate to good play. There were a lot of positives for the first game after the break.”
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 33 points and 16 rebounds as the Bucks led by as many as 34 points in the second half. Detroit trailed 70-41 at halftime and could never get enough stops to mount any significant rally in the final two quarters.
“We came out and played our game and played with pace and aggression,” said former Piston Khris Middleton, who scored 28 points. “That’s how we have to play the rest of the way.”
Eric Bledsoe added 19 points for the Bucks, who won for the 15th time in 17 games. Brook Lopez scored 18.
The Pistons have lost five straight since trading Andre Drummond to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Feb. 6 and were playing for the first time since buying out Reggie Jackson’s contract.
“With a young team, it takes getting smacked upside the head a few times to wake them up a little bit,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “Tonight showed everyone how far we still have to go when it comes to building our roster and developing our young players.”
Christian Wood, one of seven players in the game who has played for both teams, had 18 points and 11 rebounds. Bruce Brown finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
‘“Those guys are like family, but once we touch the court, it is for blood,” Wood said. “I’m going to go right at Giannis and he’s going to go right at me.”