Antetokounmpo scores 41, leads Bucks to sweep of Detroit
DETROIT (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 41 points, and the Milwaukee Bucks beat Detroit 127-104 on Monday night, completing a four-game sweep of the Pistons and advancing to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2001.
Milwaukee closed the third quarter with a 17-3 run, taking a 10-point lead into the fourth after the Pistons had led much of the way. Detroit set an NBA record with its 14th consecutive playoff loss, a skid that began in 2008.
The Bucks will face Boston in the second round. The Celtics are coming off a sweep of their own against Indiana.
Reggie Jackson scored 20 of his 26 points in the first half for Detroit. Blake Griffin fouled out with 7:06 remaining after scoring 22. The home fans gave him a nice ovation — then many headed for the exits.
Antetokounmpo went to the sideline not long after that, with the Bucks comfortably in control.
Griffin was on the bench for much of Milwaukee's crucial run. He sat for the final 4:35 of the third. Antetokounmpo scored 16 points in that quarter, half of which came on free throws.
Detroit led 20-8 early on after a dunk by Griffin. The Pistons were up 62-56 at halftime but still couldn't prevent a fourth straight blowout at the hands of the team that had the NBA's best regular-season record. Milwaukee won the four games by a total of 95 points, and no game was closer than 16.
TO THE LINE
Milwaukee went 31 of 41 on free throws, while Detroit was only 9 of 12. Pistons coach Dwane Casey was called for a technical foul in the third, and the fans weren't at all pleased with the officiating.
At one point, Milwaukee had a 32-8 edge in free throw attempts. A stat showing that was put on the main video board, but there didn't seem to be any further reaction from the crowd.
Bucks: Malcolm Brogdon remains out because of a right foot injury, but coach Mike Budenholzer said he might have a better sense in the next 3-5 days about a timetable for his availability. ... The Bucks won every game they played against Detroit this season, including all four in the regular season. ... Milwaukee had not swept a best-of-7 series since the 1983 conference semifinals against Boston.
Pistons: Detroit's most recent postseason victory was May 26, 2008, in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals against Boston. The New York Knicks lost 13 straight playoff games from 2001-2012, but the Pistons have now eclipsed that mark.
The Bucks move on to face the Celtics, who knocked Milwaukee out of the playoffs in seven games last year.