Antetokounmpo, Bledsoe lead Bucks to comfortable 120-99 win over Pistons


Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo of Greece (R) blocks a shot by Detroit Pistons forward Thon Maker of Australia (L) during the NBA Eastern Conference playoff basketball game between the Detroit Pistons and the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, Apr. 17,l 2019. EPA-EFE/TANNEN MAURY

MILWAUKEE.- Power forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and point guard Eric Bledsoe on Wednesday led the Milwaukee Bucks to a comfortable 120-99 home victory over the Detroit Pistons in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference playoffs, securing a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Antetokounmpo had a double-double of 26 points and 12 rebounds – 10 of them defensive – and converted 11 of 18 free throws apart from making two blocks.

«Tonight we just did our job,» Antetokounmpo said in the post-game interview. «Sometimes you’ve got to just have will.»

«Eric (Bledsoe) told me ‘be aggressive, it’s going to come.’ That’s what I tried to do,» the Greek Freak added.

After being kept in check by a solid Pistons defense in the first half, the Hellenic player’s performance was decisive in the third quarter, in which he scored 13 points and helped the Bucks outscore the Pistons 37-17, as Milwaukee ended the quarter with a scoreline of 93-76 and practically sealed the match.

«I don’t think he felt great about how he played in the first half. When he feels that way, he’s going to do something to change it,» Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said about Antetokounmpo after the match.

Bledsoe was the top-scorer for Milwaukee with 27 points – including three trifectas – and also made six assists and three steals.

All-Star forward Khris Middleton was the third-highest scorer with 24 points, as four Bucks players scored in double digits.

The Bucks are fancying their chances of winning their first ever playoff series since 2001.

Shooting guard Luke Kennard top-scored for the Pistons with 19 points, supported by point guard Reggie Jackson and center Andre Drummond, who contributed 18 points each.

Drummond also impressed with his defensive play, catching 16 rebounds and making two assists and two steals.

Detroit missed the services of their star power forward Blake Griffin, who had to sit the game out with a left-knee injury but ended up receiving a technical foul for arguing against the referees from the bench.

The playoff series now moves to Detroit for the next two matches, which will be played on Saturday and Monday, respectively.

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