Antetokounmpo scores 41, leads Bucks to sweep of Detroit

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) is fouled by Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond (0) during the first half of Game 4 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Monday, April 22, 2019, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

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.

“I think it’s important that we take a second tonight. Enjoy it,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “It’s a good night for Milwaukee. It’s a good night for the Bucks.”

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. Griffin missed the first two games of the series with knee problems.

“Blake played his heart out with basically one leg,” said Pistons coach Dwane Casey, whose voice was hoarse at his postgame news conference. “He fought through a lot of pain, swelling.”

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. 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.

TIP-INS

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.

UP NEXT

The Bucks move on to face the Celtics, who knocked Milwaukee out of the playoffs in seven games last year.

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Posted by Tribune News Services

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