Bucks go for season sweep of Pistons
The Milwaukee Bucks haven't lost two games in a row all season. They'll try to keep that streak going when they visit Detroit on Tuesday.
The Bucks (35-13) began a five-game road swing with a 118-112 loss at Oklahoma City on Sunday. That snapped a six-game winning streak.
Paul George poured in 36 points for the Thunder, which more than offset a 27-point, 18-rebound outing from Bucks All-Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo.
"He was doing everything -- making threes, mid-range, dunking, floaters, he was all over the place," Antetokounmpo said about George in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "He's been playing amazing. Down the stretch you know where the ball's going to go; it's going to go to Paul George. He closed the game out for them and he played the right way all night."
Antetokounmpo was effective in the Bucks' first visit to Detroit, a 107-104 victory on Dec. 17. He shot 15 of 21 from the field while racking up 32 points to go with 12 rebounds and five assists.
He scored just 15 points in each of the Bucks' two home games against Detroit this season, but Milwaukee won both anyway.
The Bucks, who will be looking for a season series sweep, crushed the Pistons 121-98 on New Year's Day in the most recent meeting. Center Brook Lopez led the way that night with 25 points, including seven 3-pointers.
Lopez scored 19 against the Thunder, but the bench produced just 15 points. Milwaukee made it interesting during the fourth quarter after trailing by 19 points in the third quarter.
"We gave ourselves a chance in the fourth quarter and I think it was a great learning (experience) for us," coach Mike Budenholzer said. "I think we got better (Sunday) and we'll continue on this trip."
Milwaukee has dominated its Central Division opponents this season, posting an 8-1 record.
The Pistons have lost three of their last four games, including a 106-101 road decision to Dallas on Friday. Detroit's reserves contributed only 15 points in that loss.
"It doesn't feel good at all. Again, we're not here to play close, you only get that in horseshoes and hand grenades," coach Dwane Casey said.
"One thing, again, it's what the 10th game we've lost five points or less? Just making (questionable) decisions down the stretch. I thought we played well if you take away the second quarter. Our bench was 4 for 21 ... they let us down a little bit as far as the shooting and scoring."
Center Andre Drummond returned from a three-game absence due to a concussion. He was sharp with 23 points and 15 rebounds, but that didn't make him feel any better afterward.
"There is no consolation prize for losing," he said. "We played hard but it wasn't enough to win."
A 35-point performance by power forward Blake Griffin was wasted, although that wasn't anything unusual for the floundering Pistons. They were six games above .500 after 20 games but are now six games below that mark at 21-27.
Griffin is averaging 31.0 points on 51.5 percent shooting in January. He's also averaging a team-best 5.5 assists during that stretch.
--Field Level Media
Updated January 28, 2019