MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin — The Milwaukee Bucks dominated the Detroit Pistons 121-86 behind a 24 points and 17 rebounds night from MVP candidate, Giannis Antetokounmpo (24 minutes) to take Game 1 in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
“As a team we talked about it, to try to keep our composure whenever the opposing team tries to foul us hard or tries to hit us or play dirty,” Antetokounmpo said. “Obviously, I’m not going to look to the referees for protection. I’ve just got to play smart and try to avoid the situations.”
Seven players reached double figures in scoring for the Bucks, who led by as many as 43 points.
Eric Bledsoe had 15 points, and Brook Lopez and Khris Middleton each added 14 for the Bucks. George Hill scored 16 points off the bench.
The Bucks defense held Detroit who played without Blake Griffin to just 38% shooting from the field and 29. 6 percent from behind the three (8 of 27 from 3-point distance).
GIANNIS TOOK OFF NEAR THE FREE-THROW LINE 😱
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) 15 april 2019
Luke Kennard led the Pistons with 21 points off the bench, while Andre Drummond had 12 points and 12 rebounds. Reggie Jackson added 12 points for Detroit.
BUDENHOLZER NAMED NBCA COACH OF THE YEAR
Milwaukee Bucks Head Coach Mike Budenholzer is the 2019 recipient of the Michael H. Goldberg NBCA Coach of the Year Award, the National Basketball Coaches Association announced today.
The Michael H. Goldberg NBCA Coach of the Year Award recognizes the dedication, commitment and hard work of NBA Head Coaches and is presented annually to a Head Coach who helps guide his players to a higher level of performance on the court and shows outstanding service and dedication to the community off the court. It honors the spirit of Michael H. Goldberg who set the standard for loyalty, integrity, love of the game, passionate representation and tireless promotion of NBA coaching. It is unique in that it is the only award voted upon by the winners’ peers, the Head Coaches of all 30 NBA teams.
“The Michael H. Goldberg NBCA Coach of the Year Award for the top NBA Coach as voted by his peers is one of the most meaningful in all of pro sports,” said Dallas Mavericks Head Coach and National Basketball Coaches Association President Rick Carlisle. “Mike Budenholzer in his first year as Head Coach of the Bucks, led the franchise to the top record in the entire NBA. Congratulations to Bud on this prestigious recognition.”
In just his first year with the Bucks, Coach Mike Budenholzer guided the team to the best record in the NBA, 60-22. This season the Bucks had their best record since 1980-81, the last time Milwaukee had 60 regular season wins. The Bucks also captured their first divisional title since 2000-01. Their record of 60-22 was a 16 victory improvement over last season, the second best improvement in the league. The Bucks were the only team to rank in the top four in both offensive and defensive rating, and had the best net rating (+9.0) in the NBA.
Game 2 is Wednesday night in Milwaukee.
Written by Andrew Mitchell for Woodlawn Post Sports (NBA)
Photo Credit: Getty Images