Pistons coach Dwane Casey said Griffin, who has had multiple knee surgeries in his career, was "too sore to play."
Casey said Griffin's status remains day-to-day for the remainder of the series. Griffin has been undergoing ongoing treatment to try to control the inflammation in his knee, league sources told ESPN.
"Missing Blake is a big piece," Casey said. "But it's a great experience for the young guys to come in and get that experience against a great team like Milwaukee."
Griffin played in 75 games for Detroit this season -- the most he has played since the 2013-14 season -- but missed four of the past seven games with knee soreness.
Thon Maker started in place of Griffin as he did in the regular-season finale.
The Bucks swept the Pistons in the regular season, despite Griffin's averaging 24.3 points in those four meetings.