Expectations were low for the Detroit Pistons going into Game One of their first-round series against the Milwaukee Bucks Sunday. When it was announced that the Pistons would be without the services of Blake Griffin for the game, one thing was painfully clear.
It was going to be a long day for Pistons fans—and it was.
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) April 15, 2019
The Bucks came out ready to make a statement, and the did. They needed less than four minutes to get out to a double-digit lead. By the time the quarter mercifully ended, the Bucks had doubled the Pistons score and then some, 38-18.
Things went a little better for the Pistons in the second quarter, but the gap still got bigger. Going into halftime, the Bucks led by 27 points, 70-43.
It only got worse for the Pistons once the third quarter got underway. Milwaukee continued to dominate the game, and it only got easier after Andre Drummond was ejected for shoving Giannis Antetokounmpo.
At that point (4:07 mark of the third quarter), the Bucks led by 41 points, 95-54 (before the free throws).
Detroit closed the gap a little before the end of the third but was still down by 36 points, 97-61, entering the fourth. Milwaukee finally took their foot off the gas at that point. The Pistons were able to win the quarter (25-24) but still lost the game, 121-86.
Pistons head coach Dwane Casey was critical of his team’s defensive effort after the game and talked about what they needed to do going forward, via ESPN:
“We have to get our level of competitiveness up to start the game because you can’t spot a great team like this that many points and expect to get back into it.”
Antetokounmpo led the way for the Bucks with a double-double, 24 points and 17 rebounds. He got lots of help from his teammates as six other Bucks scored in double figures.
Luke Kennard led the way for the Pistons with 21 points off the bench. Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson led the starters with 12 points each.
Detroit will be hoping Blake Griffin’s knee is not too sore to play in Game Two on Wednesday.