Milwaukee Bucks forward Thon Maker gets a slam-dunk against the Detroit Pistons.
Milwaukee Bucks forward Thon Maker gets a slam-dunk against the Detroit Pistons. Darren Hauck

Aussie NBA star posts best game of career

THON Maker has had the best game of his young career, proving that his role as a starter is more than symbolic.

The Australian rookie was a spark plug for the Milwaukee Bucks, finishing with 23 points in just 25 minutes, guiding his team to a thrilling 108-105 overtime win over the Detroit Pistons.

Maker's scoring effort was a career-high for the first-year big-man, easily overtaking his previous career-best 12 points.

It wasn't just the offensive end where Maker made his impact. The 20-year-old was key on the defensive end, particularly when switching on to the likes of Marcus Morris, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Ishmael Smith down the stretch in the fourth quarter and overtime.

Matching up with fellow Australian, Aron Baynes, in the dying minutes of the game, Maker showed off his potential as a stretch four - hitting with regularity from beyond the arc - as well as an energy big-man, making key hustle plays in the final minute of regulation, and again in the final minute of overtime.

Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way for the Bucks with 28 points, 14 rebounds, and nine assists, while Matthew Dellavedova finished with six points and seven assists.

"He brings energy, rebounds the ball, runs the floor. He does a little bit of everything," Antetokounmpo said of Maker after the win.

"The most important thing is he's listening and learning. I told him: to play in this game, you don't have to hesitate. I told him in overtime, if you hesitate, I'm gonna punch you. So shoot the ball whenever you get it."