Los Angeles, United States—The Milwaukee Bucks wiped away 18 years of frustration on Monday (Tuesday Manila time) by beating the Detroit Pistons 127-104 to complete a four-game sweep of their first round Eastern Conference playoff series.
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 41 points as the Bucks reached the second round of the postseason for the first time since 2000-01 season when they made it all the way to the NBA semifinals.
The top-seeded Milwaukee cruised through the first three games and after a slow start in game four they took control late at won by 23 points.
Breaking their streak of eight straight playoff exits so quickly means Milwaukee has more time prepare for their next opponent – the Boston Celtics, who are coming off a sweep of Indiana.
Elsewhere, Donovan Mitchell scored 19 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter as the Utah Jazz staved off elimination in game four with a 107-91 victory over the Houston Rockets.
“It’s not over,” Mitchell said. “We have another one, and another one, and another one.”
Jae Crowder added 23 points, Ricky Rubio tallied 18 points and 11 assists and Derrick Favors finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds for Utah, who trail three games to one.
Utah outscored Houston 31-12 in the fourth quarter to set up game five on Wednesday.
Mitchell said they now realize what they have been doing wrong and what it is going to take to win the series.
“We all been struggling with our shots all series,” said Mitchell. “We didn’t play hard at the beginning. The last two games we played harder.
“There is no way we were going to go out like that. We figured out what we have to do. The best thing for us is to continue to play team basketball.”
James Harden scored 30 points to lead Houston. Chris Paul added 23 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Eric Gordon tallied 16 points.
The Rockets shot a dismal 17 of 46 from three-point range.
The Bucks matched their regular season dominance over the Pistons, winning all four games. They had met in the postseason four times with the Pistons winning them all.
Antetokounmpo had a quiet night in game three with just 14 points but he had all his weapons at his disposal in the close out game.
Milwaukee finished 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.
The Blake Griffin-led Pistons set an NBA record with its 14th consecutive playoff loss, a losing skid that began in 2008.