The Milwaukee Bucks just refuse to lose two in a row.
Giannis Antetokounmpo finished two rebounds shy of a triple-double with 21 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds, and Eric Bledsoe added 20 points as the Bucks rolled to a 115-105 victory over the Detroit Pistons Tuesday night at Little Ceaser’s Arena.
Pat Connaughton matched his season-high with 16 points to fill in strongly for Malcolm Brogdon, who missed the game with a bruised sternum.
Khris Middleton added 15 points, Brook Lopez had 14 and Tony Snell chipped in 11 in a start in Brogdon’s place.
The Bucks (36-13) swept the Pistons in the four-game season series, the first season-series sweep of the Pistons in Milwaukee’s 51 seasons of NBA basketball.
The Bucks shot 65% (13 for 20) in the first quarter as they jumped to a 30-22 lead. They finished the night at 54% (47 for 87).
Snell and Connaughton also alleviated the absence of Sterling Brown, who sat out with a swollen right wrist.
The Pistons pulled even at 35-35 in the second quarter before D.J. Wilson scored seven points in a 9-0 run that gave the Bucks the lead for good. The Bucks led by as many as 16 in the first half before settling on a 62-49 margin.
Detroit used a 12-3 third-quarter run to pull within 77-73 with 1:51 left in the third quarter.
Antetokounmpo scored inside, then fed Middleton for a 3-pointer to make it 82-73. Later, Antetokounmpo fed Connaughton in the left corner for a 3-pointer with 3 seconds left in the third, sending the Bucks to the fourth with an 89-77 lead.
Three-pointers by Bledsoe and Snell pushed the lead to 96-79 early in the fourth, and the margin eventually reached 105-85 before the Pistons trimmed things down over the final seven minutes.
Feggie Jackson led the Pistons with 25 points, and Andre Drummond added 20 points and 13 rebounds. Luke Kennard chipped in 19 points, and Blake Griffin had 18.
The Bucks appeared to be in cruise control for much of the fourth quarter as they improved to 13-0 in games following a loss.
The victory improved he Bucks to 1-1 in the first two games of their five-game road trip, setting up a big game Thursday night in Toronto. Should the Bucks pull out that game, they’ll win the season series and any tiebreaker over the Raptors. Toronto (38-15) is in a virtual tie with the Bucks for the best record in he NBA, although the Bucks have a higher winning percentage.
The Bucks are 18-4 in their last 22 games.