AUBURN HILLS, Mich., March 31 (Ticker)
-- The Detroit Pistons already
had two wins this season against the Milwaukee Bucks. They just
needed a little motivation to collect a third.
and Tayshaun Prince
scored 25 points apiece and
added 21 and 10 rebounds as the Pistons rallied
from an 18-point third quarter deficit to post a 112-105 triumph
over the Bucks, who wasted a 37-point performance by Michael Redd
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Detroit (58-14) has won seven of its last eight, including three
of four at home to improve the NBA's best record.
The Pistons faced a 69-51 deficit after Bucks rookie Andrew Bogut's
layup with 8:45 left in the third quarter. However,
Detroit rallied to tie it, 85-85, on a fadeaway jumper by
, who scored 18 points, with just under 10
minutes remaining in the game.
"It's disappointing," Bucks coach Terry Stotts
said. "Detroit is
a good team. They turned up the pressure. They got very
aggressive and the complexion of the game changed in the second
"Even when we were down 18, it wasn't where I was going crazy,"
Pistons coach Flip Saunders
said. "I knew somehow they'd find a
way to kind of whittle this thing down and turn on a little heat
because they've done it so many times. You could see it. It got
into their eyes."
Hamilton split a pair of free throws to give Detroit its first
lead, 90-89, with 7:33 to play and Lindsey Hunter
a block on Mo Williams'
3-pointer, leading to a fast-break dunk
by Prince and a 92-89 bulge 22 seconds later.
"He (Prince) had an unbelievable game," Saunders said. "Not
only did he have five rebounds, six assists and three blocks. He
was all over the place."
The Pistons pushed their lead to 100-92 before the Bucks rallied
to take the lead with a 9-0 run, capped by two free throws from
Redd with 2:25 left. Ben Wallace
scored on a layup and
hit a 3-pointer to put Detroit back in front
for good, 105-101, with 75 seconds on the clock.
"We just stepped up to the challenge," said Billups, who scored
12 points. "I didn't ever think they were going to miss, and we
couldn't hit anything, but we knew it was a matter of time.
We're never out of a game, no matter what the score. You can't
measure our pride."
Billups handed out 11 assists for Detroit, which shot 53 percent
(41-of-11) from the floor and held Milwaukee's frontcourt to
just 19 points.
"I think the one thing that people underestimate is that when
there's adversity and they become challenged, they rise up to
the occasion," Saunders added. "They love those types of
situations. That's why this team is built for the playoffs."
Redd made 13-of-20 shots, including 6-of-8 from 3-point range,
and Charlie Bell
scored 16 points for the Bucks (36-36), who
hold a one-half game lead over Indiana (35-36) for sixth place
in the Eastern Conference.
"Michael played a terrific game," Stotts said. "The first half
in particular, he was very much in a groove. He's played well
against this team three times now. It was an entertaining game,
but I'm not taking a whole lot of consolation in that now."