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Bledsoe scores 27, leads Bucks to 115-92 win over Pistons

MILWAUKEE (AP) The formula for success in Milwaukee doesn't always have to revolve around the high-scoring duo of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton.

Eric Bledsoe matched his season high with 27 points and Antetokounmpo added 15 as the Bucks rolled to a 115-92 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.

Middleton, the team's second-leading scorer at 18.5 points per game, was inactive for personal reasons. Antetokounmpo's output was 13 below his average, although he added a team-high eight rebounds.

''For other guys to step up when we needed, it's always a good sign,'' Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. ''We talk about being prepared for your opportunities, and different guys either get bigger opportunities, or get to play that haven't been playing.''

Milwaukee countered an opening basket with nine consecutive points and did not trail after that. The Bucks led 30-21 after one quarter, 56-45 at halftime and then opened the third period with a 19-4 run.

Bledsoe's 3-pointer put Milwaukee up 75-49 with 7:25 left in the third.

''If you're not making shots, you have to defend. I thought we guarded the 3-point line in stretches but not good enough,'' Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. ''They play a different style so we have to get out and guard the 3-point line, but we did not do a good job of that tonight.''

Blake Griffin had 31 points and Reggie Jackson scored 15 for the Pistons, who lost their second straight after a five-game winning streak.

The Bucks, with the second-best record (16-7) in the East behind Toronto, improved to 12-2 at home. They are 4-5 on the road.

Milwaukee was playing its first game since Saturday, while the Pistons were playing their fourth in six days.

''When you're in the middle part of that playoff race, everybody is fighting for something,'' Casey said. ''These next gauntlet games will be like that. Our fight level has to go up. I thought that group at the end (showed fight). The first group showed it in stretches, but we have to come out of the chute with the same fight.''

Antetokounmpo was limited to six points in the first half on 3-of-8 shooting, but Bledsoe picked up the slack with 18 points, aggressively going to the basket.

''I had to, especially with one of our main guys out,'' Bledsoe said. ''Somebody had to have a good game.''

Griffin kept the Pistons close in the first half with 22 points on 9-of-16 shooting, including 3 of 6 from beyond the arc.

Milwaukee closed the first quarter with a 9-4 spurt. Two free throws by Thon Maker gave the Bucks their biggest lead of the half at 56-43.

Detroit's bench was a combined 3 for 17 in the first half, missing all six 3-point attempts.

TIP-INS

Pistons: G Ish Smith strained his right groin and did not play in the second half. ''I don't think it's anything terrible. I should be fine,'' Smith said. ''It was real frustrating (not playing). We'll figure it out. We'll see what's the deal tomorrow after the MRI. I heal fast, so I should be all right.''

EXAM WEEK

Detroit entered with the fourth-best record in the East. After hosting two-time defending champion Golden State on Friday, the Bucks play at East-leading Toronto on Sunday. ''The Warriors, everybody knows how good they are, and how they test you, and then the same with Toronto,'' Budenholzer said. ''I think those are great for a team. You learn from them, really win or lose, and what it's going to take to play against the elite teams.''

UP NEXT

Pistons: Return home to host the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday.

Bucks: Host the Golden State Warriors on Friday.

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Key Players
B. Griffin
23 PF
G. Antetokounmpo
34 PF
34.1 Min. Per Game 34.1
27.6 Pts. Per Game 27.6
6.0 Ast. Per Game 6.0
13.2 Reb. Per Game 13.2
46.4 Field Goal % 57.5
45.9 Three Point % 57.5
75.2 Free Throw % 69.3
  Offensive rebound by Jon Leuer 0:17
+ 2 Jon Leuer made reverse layup 0:14
  Offensive rebound by Jon Leuer 0:19
  Bruce Brown missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:20
  Defensive rebound by Jose Calderon 0:23
  Christian Wood missed layup 0:25
+ 1 Zaza Pachulia made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:38
+ 1 Zaza Pachulia made 1st of 2 free throws 0:38
  Personal foul on D.J. Wilson 0:38
+ 2 Christian Wood made dunk, assist by Jaylen Morris 0:43
  Bad pass turnover on Khyri Thomas, stolen by D.J. Wilson 0:47
Team Stats
Points 92 115
Field Goals 35-95 (36.8%) 38-82 (46.3%)
3-Pointers 9-38 (23.7%) 14-41 (34.1%)
Free Throws 13-19 (68.4%) 25-30 (83.3%)
Total Rebounds 62 53
Offensive 12 4
Defensive 39 42
Team 11 7
Assists 19 25
Steals 6 13
Blocks 1 4
Turnovers 20 15
Fouls 26 21
Technicals 0 0
31 PTS, 7 REB, 4 AST
27 PTS, 3 REB, 4 AST
1234T
away team logo Pistons 13-9 2124192892
home team logo Bucks 16-7 30262831115
Team Stats
away team logo Pistons 13-9 109.4 PPG 47.5 RPG 21.6 APG
home team logo Bucks 16-7 119.4 PPG 50.2 RPG 26.7 APG
Key Players
B. Griffin PF 25.6 PPG 9.1 RPG 4.9 APG 46.7 FG%
E. Bledsoe PG 15.7 PPG 4.2 RPG 5.8 APG 50.7 FG%
Top Scorers
B. Griffin PF 31 PTS 7 REB 4 AST
E. Bledsoe PG 27 PTS 3 REB 4 AST
36.8 FG% 46.3
23.7 3PT FG% 34.1
68.4 FT% 83.3
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
B. Griffin 30 31 7 4 0 1 7 2 11/22 4/11 5/6 0 7 40 -17
R. Jackson 24 15 7 5 1 0 1 4 6/15 1/5 2/3 1 6 32 -20
A. Drummond 30 10 8 1 1 0 3 5 4/10 0/0 2/4 2 6 18 -17
L. Galloway 22 5 2 1 0 0 0 1 2/5 1/4 0/0 1 1 9 -25
G. Robinson III 8 2 1 0 1 0 0 2 1/2 0/0 0/0 0 1 4 -14
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
B. Griffin 30 31 7 4 0 1 7 2 11/22 4/11 5/6 0 7 40 -17
R. Jackson 24 15 7 5 1 0 1 4 6/15 1/5 2/3 1 6 32 -20
A. Drummond 30 10 8 1 1 0 3 5 4/10 0/0 2/4 2 6 18 -17
L. Galloway 22 5 2 1 0 0 0 1 2/5 1/4 0/0 1 1 9 -25
G. Robinson III 8 2 1 0 1 0 0 2 1/2 0/0 0/0 0 1 4 -14
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
Z. Pachulia 17 8 5 1 0 0 0 1 2/3 0/0 4/6 2 3 15 -6
S. Johnson 26 7 9 0 2 0 4 1 3/16 1/8 0/0 3 6 14 -13
J. Leuer 7 6 2 0 0 0 0 1 3/4 0/0 0/0 1 1 8 +3
K. Thomas 10 3 3 2 0 0 1 0 1/3 1/3 0/0 0 3 9 0
B. Brown 26 3 5 3 0 0 2 5 1/2 1/2 0/0 2 3 12 -1
L. Kennard 6 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 1/6 0/2 0/0 0 0 3 -3
I. Smith 14 0 1 0 0 0 2 2 0/3 0/2 0/0 0 1 -1 -5
J. Calderon 13 0 1 2 0 0 0 2 0/4 0/1 0/0 0 1 5 +3
R. Bullock - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Z. Lofton - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Evans - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
H. Ellenson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 233 92 51 19 6 1 20 26 35/95 9/38 13/19 12 39 168 -115
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
E. Bledsoe 26 27 3 4 4 0 1 2 10/17 2/6 5/5 0 3 41 +14
G. Antetokounmpo 26 15 8 5 1 1 5 4 6/12 0/2 3/4 1 7 30 +22
M. Brogdon 21 14 6 2 0 0 2 1 5/10 2/4 2/2 0 6 22 +14
T. Snell 24 11 7 1 2 0 1 1 2/5 0/3 7/7 1 6 21 +21
B. Lopez 26 6 7 1 1 3 0 2 2/5 2/5 0/0 0 7 19 +22
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
E. Bledsoe 26 27 3 4 4 0 1 2 10/17 2/6 5/5 0 3 41 +14
G. Antetokounmpo 26 15 8 5 1 1 5 4 6/12 0/2 3/4 1 7 30 +22
M. Brogdon 21 14 6 2 0 0 2 1 5/10 2/4 2/2 0 6 22 +14
T. Snell 24 11 7 1 2 0 1 1 2/5 0/3 7/7 1 6 21 +21
B. Lopez 26 6 7 1 1 3 0 2 2/5 2/5 0/0 0 7 19 +22
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
S. Brown 19 11 3 0 1 0 0 0 4/6 3/4 0/0 1 2 15 +4
T. Maker 21 11 2 1 0 0 0 3 3/8 2/6 3/6 0 2 15 +4
D. Wilson 5 7 0 0 1 0 0 3 2/3 2/3 1/2 0 0 8 0
C. Wood 7 6 4 0 0 0 0 0 2/3 0/0 2/2 1 3 10 -3
D. DiVincenzo 16 3 2 1 2 0 2 0 1/5 1/4 0/0 0 2 7 0
M. Dellavedova 20 2 1 6 0 0 3 4 0/2 0/1 2/2 0 1 12 +11
J. Morris 6 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 1/3 0/0 0/0 0 1 5 0
P. Connaughton 18 0 2 3 1 0 1 1 0/3 0/3 0/0 0 2 8 +6
J. Henson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Middleton - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Duval - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E. Ilyasova - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 235 115 46 25 13 4 15 21 38/82 14/41 25/30 4 42 213 +115