Giannis Antetokounmpo Records Triple-Double in Bucks’ 122-113 Win Over Pistons

After a seesaw battle, the Milwaukee Bucks used a 10-0 run late in the fourth quarter to knock off the Detroit Pistons for the second time in three days – this time a 122-113 victory on Monday, January 22, at Little Caesars Arena. With the loss, the Pistons move to a league-worst 4-39 record, while the Bucks move to 30-13 on the season.

The Pistons found themselves down just one point, 112-111, with a little over three minutes remaining in the contest, but three straight possessions ended in three missed shots and 10 Milwaukee points off those missed shots to push the score to 122-111 and just over two minutes left in the contest.

“I thought we took a couple transition threes that just gave them a bit of rhythm and didn’t make them work. When you’re playing against a team like that you want to make them work then get those kinds of shots. I’m not one to question shots, but tonight I thought we had a few looks where we could’ve done better than that,” Pistons Head Coach Monty Williams said after the game.

Over the final four minutes, the Pistons managed to make just one of their seven field goal attempts and scored only two points during that stretch. Williams said the team fought hard all game, but that it’s his and his coaching staff’s job to prepare the team to close out stronger than they did tonight to put them in position to win.

“We competed with them the whole game. Even when they made runs, we didn’t waver in our poise and in our intensity. We’ve shown that pretty much all season, we just haven’t been able to close. That’s on me to figure that out,” Williams said.

“I am excited about the way we competed and competed against a team like that, but I have to do a much better job at getting us aware of what we need to do to get better shots down the stretch.”

The Bucks got a triple double from their All-NBA big man , who finished the game with 31 points, 17 rebounds, and 10 assists. Former Piston Khris Middleton gave the Pistons fits tonight, too, finishing with 26 points. Damian Lillard, who dropped 45 points and 11 assists in Saturday’s contest, finished with 17 points and eight assists on just 4-of-15 shooting, including 2-of-10 from 3.

Rookie point guard Marcus Sasser led the way for the Pistons, putting on a spectacular display of handles and shooting en route to a team-high 23 points. Isaiah Stewart also had a big night off the bench for Detroit, posting 19 points, eight rebounds, and a career-high five blocks while playing solid defense on Antetokounmpo and Lopez for stretches of the game.

Williams bypassed the opportunity to comment on the officiating Monday night, but during the post-game interview on Saturday’s game against the Bucks, said that “the league has to figure it out,” referring to the massive free throw disparity and foul calls by the refs. Saturday, Antetokounmpo and Lillard shot 38 combined free throws compared to just 32 for the entire Pistons team.

“You can’t just keep running into people and throwing the ball at the rim. That’s just not basketball in my opinion. Coaches are getting fined for their frustration with those kinds of things, and so that’s hard to play against,” he added.

In Monday’s game, the Pistons got to the line 29 times while the Bucks attempted 34 free throws.

Sasser echoed Williams, saying the Pistons have to do a better job down the stretch if they want to play winning basketball.

“I think it’s just the last five-six minutes we stop making winning plays. (We’re) really just not executing on the offensive end down the stretch,” he said.

The Pistons are off until Wednesday, Jan. 24, when they play against LaMelo Ball and the Charlotte Hornets. Tip-off time is slated for 7 p.m.

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