Wed, Apr 24, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Bucks rout Pistons and sweep series

STAR MAN:Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 41 points in the 127-104 victory to set up a second-round clash with the Boston Celtics, who also swept the Indiana Pacers

AP, DETROIT, Michigan

Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, center, is fouled by Blake Griffin of the Detroit Pistons, right, in Game 4 of their NBA playoff series in Detroit, Michigan, on Monday.

Photo: Rick Osentoski-USA Today

Giannis Antetokounmpo drove to the basket and drew yet another foul, this one a hard hack on the arm by Blake Griffin.

Griffin fouled out and headed to the bench, and the home crowd gave him a standing ovation. Then many fans headed toward the exits.

Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks were on their way to another rout of Detroit.

Antetokounmpo on Monday scored 41 points as the Bucks beat the Pistons 127-104, completing a four-game sweep and advancing to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2001.

The last time Milwaukee won a post-season series, the Bucks made it all the way to the conference finals. This year’s team is not there yet, but so far Milwaukee look the part of the top seed in the East.

“I remember our first playoff series [in 2015],” Antetokounmpo said. “Chicago, the last game, Game 6, they beat us by 50 or something insane, but where we were and where we are right now, it’s been an unbelievable journey.”

Milwaukee closed the third quarter with a 17-3 run, taking a 10-point lead into the fourth after the Pistons had led much of the way.

Detroit set an NBA record with their 14th consecutive playoff loss, a skid that began in 2008.

The Bucks face Boston in the second round. The Celtics are coming off a sweep of their own against Indiana.

“I think it’s important that we take a second tonight. Enjoy it,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said.

“It’s a good night for Milwaukee. It’s a good night for the Bucks,” he said.

Reggie Jackson scored 20 of his 26 points in the first half for Detroit.

Griffin fouled out with 7 minutes, 6 seconds remaining after scoring 22. He missed the first two games of the series with knee problems.

“Blake played his heart out with basically one leg,” said Pistons coach Dwane Casey, whose voice was hoarse at his post-game news conference. “He fought through a lot of pain, swelling.”

Griffin was on the bench for much of Milwaukee’s crucial run. He sat for the final 4:35 of the third.

Antetokounmpo scored 16 points in that quarter, half of which came on free throws.

Milwaukee won the four games by a total of 95 points and no game was closer than 16.



Donovan Mitchell turned a rough start into a fantastic finish.

Mitchell on Monday dominated in the fourth quarter, rallying the Utah Jazz to a victory over the Rockets in Game 4 of their Western Conference series.

Mitchell scored 19 of his 31 points in the final quarter to help the Jazz pull away for their first win of the series.

Utah staved off elimination and forced a Game 5 today.

Mitchell’s late-game performance helped the second-year guard make up for struggles earlier. He turned the ball over twice in the first two minutes and shot just 36 percent from the field in the first three quarters, before going six of 12 in the fourth.

Mitchell never lost confidence that he could turn it around.

“My teammates have had my back with every mistake, everything I’ve done well,” Mitchell said.

“When you have that support system in the locker room every day, it makes it easier when you start the game with two straight turnovers,” he said.

Jae Crowder scored 23 points. Ricky Rubio chipped in 18 points and 11 assists, while Derrick Favors finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

James Harden scored 30 points to lead Houston.

Chris Paul added 23 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, while Eric Gordon chipped in with 16 points.

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