Basketball

Pistons suffer their 2nd-worst playoff loss ever to Bucks, 121-86

Let's save the analysis for Game 2 – maybe.

The Detroit Pistons – without star Blake Griffin – were overmatched and outclassed by the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 of the first-round series, a 121-86 embarrassment that was over the moment the team bus rolled into the loading dock area at Fiserv Forum.

It's the second worst NBA playoff loss in Pistons history, behind only a 1958 defeat to the St. Louis Hawks, 145-101.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was dominant from the outset scoring 24 points and grabbing 17 rebounds in 23 minutes as "MVP!" chants rained down.

Seven Bucks scored in double figures, but without Griffin, there's little hope the Pistons can make this a competitive series.

The Bucks are the No. 1 seed in the entire NBA playoffs, a designation earned by going a league-leading 60-22 in the regular season. They were dominant, outscoring opponents by nearly nine points per 100 possessions.

The Pistons (41-41) snuck into the playoffs on the last day of the regular season and are the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

The Pistons lost four games to their Central Division rival Bucks this season by an average of 14.8 points per game.

And when Pistons coach Dwane Casey ruled Griffin out with the sore left knee that hampered the All-Star toward the end of the season, it was a wrap for the Pistons.

There are two off days before Game 2 on Wednesday, giving Griffin more time to rest the knee.

The Pistons were hoping to attack the Bucks' 3-point defense, which allows the most in the league, but could only manage an 8-for-27 night from behind the arc (29.6 percent).

Luke Kennard led the Pistons with 21 points off the bench, and was 4-for-5 from 3-point range.

Andre Drummond, who was ejected for a Flagrant-2 foul in the third quarter, finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds in 26 minutes.

Thon Maker, who was acquired from the Bucks before the trade deadline, continued to start in Griffin's place and struggled.

He scored four points and was 2-for-10 from the field, missing all six 3-point attempts.

Antetokounmpo earned "MVP!" chants early, roaring down the floor after every Pistons missed shot.

He scored eight quick points in pushing the Bucks to a 15-4 lead at the 8:31 mark.

His aggression drew two fouls from Maker early in the first quarter, forcing an early adjustment from Casey, who turned to Drummond.

The Pistons center did a solid job of guarding the Bucks superstar whenever they could force a half-court possession.

To counter, the Bucks ran their offense through others.

Casey even turned to a zone defense in an effort to stay in front of the Bucks.

That didn't work, either.

Pat Connaughton scored eight points in the first quarter and his jumper before the horn gave the Bucks a 38-18 lead, ending the competitive portion of the evening.

Maker was booed throughout the evening as fans are aware that he wanted out of Milwaukee because of diminished playing time.

The boos rained down after he committed a hard foul on Antetokounmpo in the second quarter.

The Bucks were leading 47-28 midway through the quarter when Antetokounmpo drove the lane against Maker. As Antetokounmpo went for his shot, Maker violently snatched the Bucks star's arms and he went to the floor.

The officials reviewed the play and called it a common foul.

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