Bucks hold off listless PistonsFeb 21, 2008 - 4:56 AM By Nick Berenz PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
MILWAUKEE (Ticker) - The Detroit Pistons were hitting on all cylinders going into the All-Star Break but now they are just looking to end a rare losing streak.
Michael Redd scored 27 points and Andrew Bogut chipped in with 14 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 103-98 victory Wednesday over the division-leading Pistons.
Desmond Mason added 16 points to help Milwaukee snap a four-game losing streak.
The Pistons had a 10-game winning streak heading into the All Star break but came out flat against the Magic on Tuesday night and lost, 103-85.
"Anytime you let a team get confidence they're going to be hard to beat and it's two nights in a row, the same thing," said Richard Hamilton who finished with just 11 points.
Entering Wednesday's matchup, the Pistons had defeated the Bucks five straight times, including two wins this season by an average of 35.5 points.
The Pistons are the stingiest defense in the NBA, allowing a league-low 89.9 points per game. In the first two games between the two teams, the Bucks averaged 80 points. On Wednesday, they scored 81 points through three quarters.
"You're concerned anytime you lose," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said. "Our strength is our energy and when we play with intelligence, tonight we were far too passive."
The Bucks came out energized from the start, leading by as many as 19 points in the first half against a Pistons team that still looked sluggish after Tuesday's loss. Redd scored 14 points as the Bucks led, 57-42, at the half.
"This was a great win for us tonight, that's a tough team," Redd said. "We got a little passive at the end which we've had a tendency to do but we stepped up tonight."
In the third quarter it was more of the same with Milwaukee extending its lead to as many as 21 points. Chauncey Billups did his part to keep the Pistons' deficit where it was, scoring 16 of his game-high 34 points in the quarter, but his team still trailed, 81-64, heading into the final quarter.
"We just kind of went through the motions for three quarters and then finally turned it up," Billups said. "If we don't play with energy, teams can beat us."
The Pistons cut the lead to 100-97 in the closing seconds as Billups scored on a layup with 17 seconds to play. Redd made 1-of-2 from the line before Billups missed a 3-pointer to seemingly ice the game, but Mo Williams called a timeout that the Bucks did not have.
"It almost got to the point where 'here we go again,' Rasheed with the threes, the Chris Webber timeout situation," said Charlie Bell referring to the infamous Chris Webber timeout in the 1993 NCAA championship game. "But we were able to dodge a bullet when he missed that three at the end, I'm just glad they ran out of time."
Billups made the ensuing technical free throw but Rasheed Wallace missed a 3-pointer from the wing. Redd then drained two free throws with 1.1 seconds left to cap the scoring.
"It was the same situation where we had a heck of at time protecting that lead," Bucks head coach Larry Krystkowiak said. "I thought it was a great effort by our guys and certainly we'll do anything we need to do to get a win."
The two teams will play again Friday in Detroit.
MILWAUKEE 103 FINAL
Feb 20 10:35 PM
MILWAUKEE 81 END, 3RD QTR
Feb 20 9:52 PM
MILWAUKEE 57 HALFTIME
Feb 20 9:11 PM
MILWAUKEE 29 END, 1ST QTR
Feb 20 8:37 PM
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