NBA Basketball

Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Milwaukee 32 38 28 28 126
Detroit 18 23 30 35 106
4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)01:0019:00 ET6:00 PM CT23:00 , February 20, 2020
Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan  Attendance: 16,097

Bucks look to continue dominance of Pistons

According to STATS
According to STATS

Milwaukee Bucks at Detroit Pistons

  1. The Bucks have won this season's first two meetings, pushing their win streak over the Pistons to six games. This is Milwaukee's first six-game winning streak against Detroit since 1972-73. The Bucks' only longer winning streaks in the series are a pair of seven-gamers -- one in 1969 and the other in 1970-71.
  2. Despite a 118-111 loss at Indiana last Wednesday, Milwaukee entered the All-Star break with an .852 winning percentage -- the best in franchise history. The Bucks' 78-game streak of scoring 100+ points is the longest by any team since the Spurs reached triple digits in 80 games in a row from 1983-84.
  3. Milwaukee, which is the only team this season not to have suffered back-to-back losses, allowed the Pacers to shoot an opponent season-high 52.3 percent. The Bucks, who rank first in opponents' field goal percentage at 41.1, are an NBA-best 44-2 when shooting better than their opponent.
  4. Khris Middleton had three three-pointers against the Pacers, his 12th straight game knocking down two or more threes. There have only been three longer single-season streaks of two or more made threes in Bucks history -- Eric Bledsoe (14, 2017-18), Middleton (15, 2018-19) and Ray Allen (17, 2001-02).
  5. The Pistons went into the break with a 116-112 OT loss at Orlando last Wednesday, dropping to 2-10 since January 24. Detroit's 103.1 scoring average in that span beats out only Charlotte's 101.0. The Pistons' offensive downturn comes after they averaged 111.4 points in their previous 14 contests.
  6. Christian Wood had 26 points and 12 rebounds against the Magic, and is averaging 18.4 points and 8.6 rebounds this month after averaging 11.6 points and 5.9 boards in January. His 6.8 ppg increase and 2.7 rpg increase are both seventh largest in the NBA (min. 70% of team games played each month).

The team with the league's best record returns from the All-Star break to face an opponent it has consistently dominated.

Milwaukee visits Detroit on Thursday in its drive to clinch home court advantage throughout the postseason. The Bucks have disposed of their Central Division rival with regularity since the beginning of last season. They swept the four-game regular-season series, then duplicated that feat in the opening round of the playoffs.

The first two meetings this season have continued that trend. The Bucks won at home 104-90 behind Giannis Antetokounmpo's 28 points on Nov. 23. The All-Star and reigning Most Valuable Player racked up 35 points in their first visit to Detroit this season, a 127-103 Milwaukee romp on Dec. 4.

Things got testy in the last meeting, as six technical fouls were handed out. Antetokounmpo was angered by what he felt was over-aggressive play by the Pistons, particularly from star forward Blake Griffin.

However, Detroit has a much different look than it did that night. Griffin is out for the season after undergoing knee surgery. Center Andre Drummond was traded to Cleveland early this month, and point guard Reggie Jackson reached a buyout agreement with the club on Monday.

Antetokounmpo missed the last two Milwaukee games due to the birth of his first child. Milwaukee had a five-game winning streak snapped in its last outing on Feb. 12, losing at Indiana 118-111.

The Bucks' superstar will be back in action at Detroit. The way this season plays out could have long-term implications on the franchise. He'll be eligible for a super-max extension this summer and could enter free agency following the 2020-21 season.

Antetokounmpo addressed his future during All-Star weekend, saying that he plans to stick around as long as the team has great success.

"I can't think that far ahead. I'm just trying to focus on the moment and get better," he said. "But why not (stay)? I'm a guy that wants to be with a team for a while. As long as we're winning. And we're winning so far, so I don't think anything's going to change."

Detroit's foreseeable future is all about rebuilding. The Pistons will be doing a lot of experimenting with their rotations the remainder of the season.

"Everything is going to be fluid because we're in a search-and-rescue mission right now," coach Dwane Casey said. "We want to see what we have."

With Jackson placed on waivers after the buyout, the point guard position will be especially fluid. Derrick Rose will likely start Thursday's game but Brandon Knight, rookie Jordan Bone and Svi Mykhailiuk could also see time there over the remainder of the season.

Casey doesn't necessarily plan to give his younger players heavy minutes. He feels playing time should be earned.

"The only way I think you build a championship-type team is to play the guys who produce," he said.

"If you just run them out there with no consequences for mistakes, no consequences for lack of discipline, no consequences for letting your guy blow by you, then you're not going to have very much when it's all ready to go (in future years). It's pretty simple from that standpoint."

--Field Level Media

Updated February 19, 2020

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