With a perfect 3-0 record against their Division Rivals, the Milwaukee Bucks aimed to make it a clean sweep of the season series by taking down the Detroit Pistons on Monday.
Despite having four wins all season, the Pistons have been a pesky team as of late, especially in their previous outing against the Bucks, where they had Milwaukee on the ropes. The Bucks would face adversity once again on Monday, as the Pistons kept this close until the very end. However, the Bucks' clutch gene kicked in, and they were able to pull away.
Milwaukee completed the regular season sweep of Detroit with a 122-113 road victory, and there were plenty of intriguing statistics to come out of it.
Khris Middleton reaches major milestone in storybook fashion as Bucks beat Pistons
First and foremost, Khris Middleton reached an incredible milestone by passing Glenn Robinson for third on the team's all-time scoring list. Given that Middleton did it against his former team, who put him into a trade as a throw-in piece all those years ago, seeing him reach this mark felt like a scene ripped right out of a feel-good sports movie.
Middleton had one of his best games of the year en route to reaching this feat, clocking in 26 points on 9-of-14 shooting while tallying two rebounds, assists, and steals apiece. His jumper was smooth from start to finish, especially late, as he sunk all three of his shot attempts in the final frame, and the last one was a 3-pointer that helped him pass Robinson.
Meanwhile, Giannis Antetokounmpo had a stat-sheet-stuffing night of his own by notching 31 points, 17 rebounds, 10 assists, three steals, and two blocked shots. It wasn't the best shooting night for the Greek Freak, having hit just 44 percent of his shots, but he did not let that deter him as he continued to be aggressive offensively and stayed on the prowl defensively.
After an impressive showing against the Pistons in the prior game, Brook Lopez followed that up with an encore by producing 15 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks, and three assists. His fingerprints were all over this one, which was very valuable in a game where Damian Lillard struggled. The guard had a stat line of 17 points on 4-of-15 shooting, but he did add eight assists, which certainly helped.
Another theme from the last outing that carried over into this one was Detroit's bench outproducing Milwaukee's by an incredible amount. The Bucks' reserves totaled 20 points, while Detroit's put up 63. Marcus Sasser, the rookie who had a 23 point game, outscored Milwaukee's entire bench brigade by himself. The past two games have truly put a spotlight on this lack of production off of the bench.
Milwaukee's leading reserve was Andre Jackson Jr., who had a solid game with eight points to go with a rebound, steal, and block apiece. He remains prone to fouling, having tallied five in this one, but still, when he's scoring, rebounding, passing, and just serving as a spark, he can help this team positively.
Bobby Portis had just seven points, having missed all three of his 3-point tries. Jae Crowder, who is working his way back into shape after returning following an in-season procedure, knocked down just one of his six shot attempts. Pat Connaughton logged two points on what was actually a rather smooth layup inside, but that was all.
Every single Buck had a negative +/- rating, while all but one Piston had a positive rating. This issue is something Milwaukee needs to get sorted, as they cannot rely so heavily on their starters night in and night out, as they do not want them to get worn down. Portis, Connaughton, Crowder, or some other player needs to step up moving forward.
The aforementioned Sasser led the way for Detroit with 23 points, while Isaiah Stewart, another piece off of the bench, had 19. Jaden Ivey, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Jalen Duren also had double-digit points.
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