The Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Detroit Pistons tonight, 107-104, in a close game that the Pistons probably should’ve pulled out.
The Pistons had a hot first quarter led by Reggie Bullock, but things soon turned for the worst as Milwaukee’s paint scoring led the team to a 12-point lead at the half. It was looking like the same in the third, as the Pistons kept up on offense but failed to get a stop for the majority of the third quarter. A great stretch of defense led to a huge Pistons run to close out the quarter, bringing them all the way back to within four. The fourth was hotly contested throughout, as the two teams matched each other shot for shot and stop for stop. A late foul on a three-point shot on an Eric Bledsoe 3-pointer nearly stopped the Pistons momentum, but the former Kentucky guard missed all three at the stripe. Another late run by the Bucks was matched by the Pistons in the final minute, but after an up-and-down game, Blake Griffin’s good look to tie the game wouldn’t fall, and the Pistons fell to the second-place Bucks in Detroit.
The Pistons were led by Blake Griffin, who, despite his triple-double of 19 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists, his 10 turnovers and unusual selfish play down the stretch is what cost the Pistons most. He did, however, throw down this coast-to-coast slam on a pair of 7-footers:
Blake Griffin coming down the lane 😤 pic.twitter.com/7uOPXPnr2G
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) December 18, 2018
Bullock and Stanley Johnson were the other catalysts in Detroit’s comeback, with Bullock getting a career-high 24 points and Johnson shooting lights out from deep in the second half, hitting four 3-pointers for the game. Also notable, Jon Leuer looks to have taken over the backup center spot from veteran big Zaza Pachulia, as he continues his great play as the Pistons’ third big man.
After underperforming in the Bucks’ first route of the Pistons, MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo showed up big tonight, as he usually does, taking advantage of the Pistons’ weak inside and fastbreak defense (with a little help from the officiating when it came to footwork). The Bucks were also led by Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleton, who both shot 7-16 from the field and combined for 39 points. Lastly, Milwaukee’s strong bench play from Sterling Brown and former Michigan forward DJ Wilson helped the team pull out the late win.
The Pistons are now 14-14 but have made it through arguably the hardest part of their schedule this season. They take on the Timberwolves in Minnesota on Wednesday.
Featured Image: (Paul Sancya/AP)