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Bucks bring in New Year with easy victory

Brook Lopez made a 3-pointer to start the Milwaukee offense off on the right foot, and the Bucks never cooled off.

Lopez made 7 of 12 threes on his way to 25 points, and the Bucks shot 59.5% on the way to an easy 121-98 victory over the slumping Detroit Pistons Tuesday night at Fiserv Forum.

The Bucks (26-10) won their fourth straight and eighth in nine games to continue to hold the NBA’s best record. Khris Middleton added 22 points, and Eric Bledsoe added 18.

The Pistons (16-19), lost their third straight and for the 12th time in 15 games.

After Lopez started the Bucks’ offense with his first 3-pointer, Malcolm Brogdon scored on three trips to the rim, setting another tone. The Bucks scored 42 points in the paint in the first half on their way to a 68-52 lead, and finished with 66 points in the paint for the night.

Until garbage time arrived, eight of the nine Bucks players who had played were shooting above 50%.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had a “quiet” night of 15 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. He only logged 26 minutes, spending time in the third quarter on the bench after picking up his fourth foul. Then again, a big night from the Greek superstar was hardly necessary.

The Bucks shot 75% (15 for 20) in the first quarter and 65% (13 for 20) in the second quarter, leaving them at 70% for the half.

Blake Griffin led Detroit with 29 points, and Reggie Jackson added 19, but the Pistons finished the night shooting just 38% (35 of 92).

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