NBA regular season

Giannis, Middleton return as Bucks ride 49-point 1st quarter in rout of Pistons

Giannis, Middleton return as Bucks ride 49-point 1st quarter in rout of Pistons

RETURNING FREAK. Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) drives between Detroit Pistons guard Jaden Ivy (23) (left) and forward Sadie Bey (41) in the third quarter at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Milwaukee star duo Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton return from injuries in style as the Bucks drop 150 points in a 20-point win over the Detroit Pistons

The Milwaukee Bucks scored 49 points in the first quarter and reached a season high in points while overwhelming the host Detroit Pistons 150-130 on Monday night (Tuesday, January 24, Manila time).

Giannis Antetokounmpo, who missed the previous five games due to left knee soreness, scored 20 first-quarter points and finished with 29 points and 12 rebounds.

Brook Lopez had 21 points, Bobby Portis logged 18 points and 10 rebounds, Jevon Carter also scored 18 points and Jrue Holiday contributed 16 points and seven assists for the Bucks, who won for the third time in four games.

Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton, who hadn’t played since Dec. 15 due to right knee soreness, added eight points and four assists in 15 minutes.

The Bucks have won 16 of the past 17 regular-season meetings with Detroit, dating back to the 2018-19 season.

Bojan Bogdanovic led the Pistons with 33 points. Rookie Jalen Duren supplied a career-best 23 points and 15 rebounds, and Saddiq Bey had 21 points.

Pistons starters Killian Hayes and Isaiah Stewart missed the game due to shoulder injuries.

The Bucks shot 18 of 24 from the field in the first 12 minutes, including 7 of 12 from 3-point range, and recorded 12 assists. Antetokounmpo made all six of his field-goal attempts and went 6-for-7 from the foul line in the opening period.

He reached the 20-point mark with a pullup 3-pointer with 3:56 left in the quarter to give Milwaukee a 40-12 lead.

The Bucks’ lead was 25 points entering the second quarter. The advantage grew past 30 points when Joe Ingles knocked down a 3-pointer midway through the period, making it 68-37.

Milwaukee’s halftime edge was 83-55. The Bucks shot 65.3 percent from the field and knocked down 13 of 24 3-point attempts before the break. All 10 Milwaukee players who saw action in the first half scored. The reserves scored 35 points, led by Portis with 14.

Bogdanovic was the only Piston in double figures with 13 first-half points.

Lopez scored the first five points of the second half to push the Bucks’ lead to 33 points. Bogdanovic scored 20 points in the third quarter, but Milwaukee was still up 115-92 when the period ended. –

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