Giannis Antetokounmpo in turn scored 29 points, the Bucks topped the Pistons

DETROIT (AP) – Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 20 of his 29 points in the first quarter, returning to the lineup after a five-game absence. Milwaukee Bucks 150-130 win over Detroit Pistons on monday night.

The two-time MVP was joined by three-time All-Star Khris Middleton, putting the Bucks’ iconic duo in the same lineup for the first time in more than a month.

Antetokounmpo was out with a bruised left knee. Middleton, who hasn’t played since Dec. 15 because of a sore right knee, had eight points and four assists.

The Bucks scored 49 points in the first quarter, two shy of the NBA record, and led Detroit by 25 after Antetokounmpo made all six of his shots in eight-plus minutes.

Antetokounmpo didn’t keep up his scoring pace the rest of the game, but he didn’t have to with teammates like reserve Bobby Portis, who scored 12 of his 18 points in the second quarter.

Milwaukee led 83-55 at halftime and 115-92 after three quarters and finished with a season high in points in a game that wasn’t competitive beyond the opening minutes. Mercifully, the Bucks held the ball and were called for a shot clock violation in the final seconds when they were three points shy of the most by an NBA team this season.

Bojan Bogdanovic scored 33 points and rookie Jalen Durian had a season-high 23 points and 14 rebounds for the Pistons, who have won an Eastern Conference-low 12 games and are ahead of only Houston in the league-wide standings.

Detroit’s Siddique B. scored 21 points, rookie Jaden Ivey had 12 points and 11 assists, and Hamidou Diallo added 11 points off the bench.

In memory of

The Pistons honored the late Bob Lanier throughout the game. The Hall of Famer, who played his 14-season career with Detroit and Milwaukee, died in May at age 73.

There was also a moment of silence for Chris Ford, who began his career with Detroit before winning three NBA titles as a player and assistant coach in Boston. Ford, who made the first 3-pointer in league history, died last week at age 74.

TIP-INS

Bucks: Portis left the court with a right knee injury early in the fourth quarter after grabbing his 10th rebound for his 29th double-double this season. … Brook Lopez had 21 points, reserve Jeon Carter had 18, and Jrue Holiday had 16 points and seven assists.

Pistons: Kellyanne Hayes (shoulder) was out along with Marvin Bagley (broken hand) and Cade Cunningham (shin surgery). … The shorthanded team has lost four of 10 games in 2023 and eight.

Next up

Bucs: Host Denver on Wednesday night.

Pistons: Thursday night at Brooklyn.

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