Notebook: Pistons 96, Bucks 94



Posted Dec 30, 2012 11:15 PM

By Dana Gauruder, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Tayshaun Prince scored 20 points, including the go-ahead free throws with 10.9 seconds remaining, as the Detroit Pistons downed the Milwaukee Bucks 96-94 at The Palace of Auburn Hills on Sunday night. Greg Monroe had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Jason Maxiell added 10 points and 10 rebounds for Detroit, which has won four of its last five games. The Pistons trailed only once but barely survived Milwaukee's late rally. Monta Elllis scored a game-high 30 points, and Ersan Ilyasova added 24 points for the Bucks, who erased a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter.


QUOTABLE: "For the most part, we stayed with it. They responded well, which we knew they would. Obviously, we didn't want them to take the lead but it was a good win for us. We've just got keep taking advantage of these games at home while we have this streak."
-- Prince on the Pistons' improved play.

THE STAT: 33. The Pistons had a much more balanced approach after relying on their bench the previous two games. The reserves scored 85 against Atlanta Wednesday and 64 points against Miami. According to Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time in franchise history the bench had scored at least 60 points in back-to-back games since it started keeping such stats in 1970. The reserves contributed a more modest 33 points Sunday but the starters played a bigger role, as four of them reached double figures.

TURNING POINT: Milwaukee took its only lead with 1:06 left when Ellis hit a fadeaway but the Pistons, who squandered eight double-digit leads in losses this season, didn't fold. Prince responded with a 5-foot jump hook to tie the game. Ellis missed a pair of 18-foot jumpers on the Bucks' last two possessions, sandwiching Prince's game-deciding free throws.

QUOTABLE II: "I definitely wanted to take the 3-point option away and make sure I forced him to go to the basket. I just tried to cut off his first dribble and keep him in front of me."
-- Pistons guard Brandon Knight, who forced Ellis' final miss with 1.9 seconds remaining.

HOT: Ilyasova had a season high in points, making nine of 12 field-goal attempts and three free throws. He scored 12 of his points in the fourth and also dished out both of his assists in the quarter. He came into the game averaging 8.6 points.

NOT: Knight continues to struggle from the field. He went 4-for-12, making him 27-for-89 (30.3 percent) in the last eight games. He has just 30 assists along with 23 turnovers in that stretch while averaging 10.5 points.

ROOKIE WATCH: Detroit center Andre Drummond had eight points, seven rebounds and two blocks in 19 minutes. Guard Kyle Singler had eight points on just 2-for-11 from the field, though he did make three steals.

NOTABLE: Neither team has swept the season series, even though they have been playing since the 1968-69 season. This was the first of four games between the division rivals this season. Milwaukee led the all-time series, 118-99. ... Pistons sixth man Rodney Stuckey missed his second straight game with a left ankle sprain. ... Milwaukee forward Luc Mbah A Moute required three stitches to close a cut to his lip, an injury he suffered 1:17 into the game. ... Detroit was playing the second game of a five-game homestand, its longest this season. ... Bucks coach Scott Skiles set the NBA single-game assists record 22 years to the day. Skiles had 30 assists for the Orlando Magic against the Denver Nuggets. "I don't give it a lot of thought," he said. "The game is a lot different now, so it's hard for anybody to (break) it." ... Milwaukee center Larry Sanders entered the game leading the NBA in blocks (3.04 per game) but had just one Sunday.

UP NEXT: For the Bucks, Wednesday vs. San Antonio, Friday vs. Houston, Saturday @ Indiana. For the Pistons, Tuesday vs. Sacramento, Friday vs. Atlanta, Sunday vs. Charlotte.