MILWAUKEE – Giannis Antetokounmpo continued to provide the offense, and the Bucks’ defense eventually caught up.
Antetokounmpo had 28 points and 10 rebounds for his 16th consecutive double-double to lead Milwaukee past the Detroit Pistons 104-90 on Saturday night for its seventh straight victory.
“There were different guys stepping up, making plays,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “I think the defense held them tonight. They’re a little banged up on a back-to-back. Unfortunate for them, but kind to us.”
Wesley Mathews added 13 points and Eric Bledsoe had 11 for Milwaukee, which improved its record to an Eastern Conference-best 13-3.
Derrick Rose scored 20 points, Langston Galloway added 13 and Andre Drummond had 12 points and 17 rebounds for the Pistons, who were without Blake Griffin.
The star forward, who has played in just four games this season, was inactive for injury recovery after playing 32 minutes in a 128-103 victory over Atlanta on Friday in the first game of the back-to-back.
“It doesn’t change my approach. Coming into the game, my mindset is to win,” Antetokounmpo said. “Obviously, when you don’t have a guy like Blake that’s a really great player, and (has) a lot of experience playing, now you’ve got to figure out who you’re guarding and whose going to go against you.”
Antetokounmpo is the first player to open the season with 16 double-doubles in a row since Moses Malone did it for the Houston Rockets in 1981.
Antetokounmpo and George Hill hit consecutive 3-pointers to fuel a 12-0 run to open the fourth quarter and put Milwaukee in front 89-69. Detroit missed its first eight shots of the period before Langston Galloway finally hit a 3 with 5:47 remaining.
“We had some ill-advised shots and didn’t execute the way we should have,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “In those moments you’ve got to have a clear understanding of what you are trying to do. We didn’t do that.”
Lakers 109, Grizzlies 108
In Memphis, LeBron James scored on a driving layup with 1:30 left to put Los Angeles ahead to stay as the Lakers held off the Grizzlies for their seventh straight victory.
Memphis had a final chance with the ball and 1.3 seconds left. Jaren Jackson Jr. went sprawling trying to corral Kyle Anderson’s pass inbounding the ball.
James finished with 30 points. Anthony Davis added 22, Rajon Rondo had 14, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 12 and Dwight Howard had 10.
Rookie Ja Morant led the Grizzlies with 26 points. Jae Crowder added 21, Jackson finished with 20, Dillon Brooks had 12 and Anderson scored 10.
Spurs 111, Knicks 104
In New York, LaMarcus Aldridge scored 23 points and San Antonio snapped its longest losing streak under coach Gregg Popovich at eight games by beating the hosts.
The Spurs never trailed, led by as many as 28 and looked like the kind of team Popovich has usually had, not this one that has been one of the NBA’s worst defensively.
DeMar DeRozan added 21 points and nine rebounds for San Antonio, which came in yielding 116.1 points per game but held New York under 100 until the final 10 seconds of the game.
Marcus Morris scored 20 points for the Knicks.
Suns 100, Timberwolves 98
In Minneapolis, Devin Booker had 35 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists, and Phoenix edged Minnesota in a matchup of short-handed teams.
Kelly Oubre Jr. added 25 points and 10 rebounds for the Suns, who had lost three in a row.
Karl-Anthony Towns had 31 points and 17 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who have lost four of five. Keita Bates-Diop scored a career-high 22 points, and Andrew Wiggins added 21.
Bulls 116, Hornets 115
In Charlotte, Zach LaVine had a career-high 49 points, including the winning 3-pointer with 0.8 seconds left, to lift Chicago to the win over the hosts.
LaVine, who questioned his relationship with coach Jim Boylen the previous night, shot 17-for-28 from the field — including 13 for 17 on 3s to tie an NBA record. Only Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson had previously made 13 from beyond the arc in an NBA game.
Rookie Coby White added 28 points for the Bulls.
Terry Rozier III had 28 points for Charlotte.
In Other Games
76ers 113, Heat 86
Pacers 111, Magic 106
Raptors 119, Hawks 116
Cavaliers 110, Trail Blazers 104
Jazz 128, Pelicans 120