Bucks overtake Pistons, Antetokounmpo drop 30

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 30 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists to help the Milwaukee Bucks defeat the Detroit Pistons 131-101 on Friday night.

Averaging 29.9 points, Antetokounmpo needs 35 or more points Sunday in the season finale in Cleveland to join Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only Milwaukee players to average 30 points for a season.

Brook Lopez added 17 points and Khris Middleton had 15. The defending champion Bucks led by 32 points en route to their third straight win. They improved to 51-30.

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Rodney McGruder had a career-high 26 points for Detroit. Saddiq Bey (20) and Cade Cunningham (14) were the only starters to hit double figures.

The Pistons missed 15 of their first 16 field goal attempts, falling behind 23-4. Detroit finished with an NBA season-low eight points in the first quarter, 22 points behind.

Milwaukee’s defense wasn’t as strong in the second quarter, but the Bucks still led 56-38 at halftime despite only shooting 41.2 percent themselves.

The Bucks extended the margin to 31, 76-44, on Antetokounmpo’s three-point play midway through the third quarter, and only McGruder’s career night saved the Pistons from being humiliated.

Milwaukee’s George Hill left the game with abdominal pain after scoring 10 points in 16 minutes.

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Tips

Bucks: Milwaukee improved to 13-1 against the Pistons under coach Mike Budenholzer. The only blemish was Detroit’s 115-105 win at Milwaukee on Jan. 3. … Antetokounmpo reached 2,000 points for the second time in his career. He needs 13 points in the final to beat his current career high of 2014, set in 2017-18.

Pistons: Detroit’s loss guarantees it will end with less than 25 wins for the third straight season – the longest streak in franchise history.

Following

Bucks: At Cleveland on Sunday.

Pistons: in Philadelphia on Sunday.

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