DETROIT  — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 41 points, and the Milwaukee Bucks beat Detroit 127-104 on Monday night, completing a four-game sweep of the Pistons and advancing to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2001.

Milwaukee closed 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. Detroit set an NBA record with its 14th consecutive playoff loss, a skid that began in 2008.

The Bucks will face Boston in the second round. The Celtics are coming off a sweep of their own against Indiana.

Reggie Jackson scored 20 of his 26 points in the first half for Detroit. Blake Griffin fouled out with 7:06 remaining after scoring 22. The home fans gave him a nice ovation – then many headed for the exits.

Antetokounmpo went to the sideline not long after that, with the Bucks comfortably in control.

Griffin was on the bench for much of Milwaukee’s crucial run. He sat for the final 4:35 of the third. Antetokounmpo scored 16 points in that quarter, half of which came on free throws.

Detroit led 20-8 early on after a dunk by Griffin. The Pistons were up 62-56 at halftime but still couldn’t prevent a fourth straight blowout at the hands of the team that had the NBA’s best regular-season record. Milwaukee won the four games by a total of 95 points, and no game was closer than 16.


NETS: Brooklyn minority owner Joe Tsai was fined $35,000 by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver on Monday for public statements detrimental to the league, becoming the latest member of the Nets organization to be penalized for actions during their playoff series against Philadelphia.

Tsai tweeted support Sunday for General Manager Sean Marks, who was suspended one game without pay and fined $25,000 for entering the referees’ locker room following the Nets’ Game 4 loss.

“My partners and I have spoken and the entire Nets ownership group support our GM Sean Marks for protesting the wrong calls and missed calls,” Tsai wrote Sunday on Twitter. “NBA rules are rules and we respect that, but our players and fans expect things to be fair.”

The Nets also fined Jared Dudley $25,000 for escalating an altercation during the game, which the Nets lost 112-108 to fall into a 3-1 hole.

KINGS: Former Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton has been accused of sexual assault by former Spectrum SportsNet host Kelli Tennant.

In a lawsuit filed Monday, Tennant alleges that Walton assaulted her at the Casa Del Mar Hotel in Santa Monica while he was an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors. The Sacramento Kings hired Walton as their new coach earlier this month.

No date was given for the alleged assault, but the suit says it happened after the publication of a book written by Tennant, for which Walton wrote a foreword. The book was published in 2014.

PACERS: General Manager Kevin Pritchard convinced himself the Indiana Pacers could contend for an Eastern Conference title by basically keeping the core rotation intact.

Victor Oladipo’s season-ending knee injury changed the whole equation.

While the Pacers continued playing hard and won more often than many expected over the final two months, the absence of their All-Star guard prevented the Pacers from retaining one of the top four seeds or reaching the conference semifinals for the first time since 2014.

“Vic has been our closer for the last couple of years. To not have him on the court is big,” point guard Darren Collison following Sunday’s season-ending 110-106 loss to Boston. “Think about the playoffs he had last year and how amazing he was. Now, just imagine if we had that this year.”

It’s hard not to.

But even before Oladipo was wheeled off the court with a ruptured quad tendon in his right knee on Jan. 23, he struggled with a sore knee and it showed in the stats that were slightly down from his breakout 2017-18 season.

The first step for the Pacers this offseason will be to determine when Oladipo might be fully healthy. He sat behind his teammates Sunday, stood under his own power and waved to the crowd. It was his first public appearance at Bankers Life Fieldhouse since he was wheeled off the court on a stretcher.

If Oladipo returns to his pre-injury form, the foundation could still be pretty solid.

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