AUBURN HILLS, Mich., April 21 (Ticker) --
The Milwaukee Bucks knew they were a better team than the one that lost Game 1 by 26 points, and they proved it.
scored 26 points, including two free throws with 3.7 seconds left, as the Bucks staved off a huge Detroit Pistons rally to win 92-88, knotting their Eastern Conference first-round series.
NBA TV highlights from|
Detroit's ill-fated run:
"That's what we've been doing all year after tough games -- coming back the next time and responding," said Bucks forward Desmond Mason
, who scored 15 points. "It started the last couple days in practice by being real aggressive, and I think the coaching staff did an excellent job preparing us for this game."
Milwaukee's Toni Kukoc grabbed nine rebounds and scored 15 points on 7-for-8 shooting.|
Allen Einstein/NBAE/Getty Images
Road teams had been 0-13 in the 2004 playoffs until Milwaukee's win, its first in five all-time playoff games in Detroit. The Bucks also have won six straight Game 2s dating to 1999.
After the 108-82 loss in Game 1, the sixth-seeded Bucks didn't feel the situation was hopeless.
"I don't think we hit rock bottom at all with that game," said point guard Damon Jones
, who had seven points and seven assists. "We felt that if we cut down our turnovers, we could win this game. We were the highest-scoring team in the Eastern Conference this year, and nobody was giving us a chance to win one game. Tonight we played a total team game -- offensively and defensively. That's how we won 41 games this year."
First-year coach Terry Porter
also kept his cool.
"(After Game 1), we said, 'This is just one game, and it's over with,'" Porter said. "We have to come out with a better effort and be more aggressive, correct some mistakes we made and come ready for Game 2. Our guys did a great job from the start."
"You have to give them credit," Pistons coach Larry Brown
said. "They got humiliated in Game 1 and came back tonight."
Milwaukee registered the 100th playoff win in franchise history and hosts Games 3 and 4 on Saturday and Monday.
The Bucks went ahead to stay midway through the second quarter on consecutive baskets by Toni Kukoc
, who made 5-of-5 shots in the period and finished with 15 points off the bench. Redd scored 10 points in the third quarter, pushing a 48-41 lead to
Milwaukee held an 87-72 lead after a basket by Brevin Knight
with 3:13 remaining before third-seeded Detroit converted three turnovers into baskets and got 3-pointers from Lindsey Hunter
and Rasheed Wallace
in a 16-3 run that cut the deficit to 90-88 with 34 seconds to go.
Jones missed two free throws with 9.5 seconds left, but Wallace lost the ball out of bounds with 4.1 seconds to go. Redd, who outplayed counterpart Richard Hamilton
, sank two free throws to seal the victory.
"They threw the kitchen sink at us," Jones said. "They used a different trap than they did in Game 1. They made a heckuva comeback, but Michael made a couple of clutch free throws."
In Game 1, Milwaukee was outrebounded, 52-38, and committed 25 turnovers that led to 28 points for Detroit. In Game 2, the Bucks held a 48-37 rebounding edge and cut the turnovers to 20.
"We worked on those things a lot in practice," said Mason. "We did a lot of work against their trap. We changed the way we took the ball out. On the boards, we wanted to push Ben
) and Rasheed to the baseline so that we could get out and run if the ball was tipped back to our guards."
led the Pistons with 20 points. Hamilton added 18 but fouled out before being ejected with 4:58 remaining for arguing.