'Little things' doom fading Pistons in beating by Bucks
Detroit — Same team, same result.
The Milwaukee Bucks just have the Pistons’ number this season — and they’ve done it in pretty dominant fashion in all four meetings.
The Bucks swept the season series, taking a 115-105 victory over the Pistons on Tuesday night at Little Caesars Arena. It’s the first time the Bucks ever have swept the season series.
It’s the fourth loss in the last five games for the Pistons (21-28) who are fading from the playoff race, trailing the Charlotte Hornets by 3½ games for eighth place in the East.
Coach Dwane Casey acknowledged the Bucks’ tough play but pointed to the big difference as being the details, which has been the Pistons’ biggest bugaboo.
“It’s the little things; it’s not something as my son says, that’s ‘ginormous,’ if that’s a word,” Casey said. “It’s the little things: Entry passes, deflections, passing spacing, all the things that we sometimes lose focus on and not get to are some of the things that are frustrating.
“Milwaukee is an excellent team and the separations between us are that they execute the little things better than we do right now and that’s what I thought was the difference tonight.”
Reggie Jackson tied his season high with 25 points and added five assists and Andre Drummond had 20 points and 13 rebounds. Blake Griffin added 18 points, seven rebounds and nine assists and Luke Kennard 19 points off the bench.
“They have a good team and they’ve built their team really well,” Griffin said. “They’re coached really well and they play the right way; they get open shots and they knock their shots down.”
As they have all season, the Bucks (36-13) dominated, winning two meetings each by 23 points and the third by just three. Tuesday was more of the same, with 21 points, eight rebounds and 11 assists from Giannis Antetokounmpo and Eric Bledsoe adding 20 points and seven assists.
The Bucks jumped in front, 28-16, in the first quarter, but the Pistons pulled within eight entering the second. The Pistons started with back-to-back 3-pointers by Khyri Thomas and Stanley Johnson, who also added a floater. That ignited a 16-5 run, but Milwaukee answered with a 12-2 spurt, with seven points from D.J. Wilson (Michigan) and six from Antetokounmpo.