Prince’s late free throws lift Pistons over Bucks
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Tayshaun Prince made two free throws with 10.9 seconds left to give Detroit a 96-94 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday night after the Pistons blew a 14-point lead.
Prince scored 20 points, and Greg Monroe added 14 points and 10 rebounds for Detroit, which had five players in double figures. Charlie Villanueva and Brandon Knight added 11 points apiece, and Jason Maxiell scored 10 for the Pistons.
Monta Ellis had 30 points and nine assists, and Erson Ilyasova scored 24 points for the Bucks.
Both teams were coming off wins over the defending NBA champion Miami Heat. Detroit beat Miami 109-99 in Auburn Hills on Friday night and the Bucks beat the Heat 104-85 in Milwaukee one night later.
Ellis hit a fallaway baseline jumper with 1:06 left, after almost losing the ball out of bounds, to give the Bucks their first lead, 94-92. But Prince’s hook shot tied the score with 50.5 seconds remaining. Ellis missed a jumper with 31.9 seconds to go and Maxiell got the rebound. Following a timeout, Luc Mbah a Moute fouled Prince, who stepped to the line and made both free throws.
Ilyasova’s 3-pointer with 1:43 left tied it at 92 to complete the comeback from a 14-point deficit.
Detroit led 78-71 going into the fourth quarter after leading 72-58 on Monroe’s jumper with 4:14 left in the third.
The Pistons jumped out to an early 13-0 lead, holding the Bucks scoreless until 8:07 remained in the first quarter when Ellis made a driving layup. Milwaukee battled back to 19-17 on Ellis’ two free throws with 4:03 left in the first and 21-19 with 3:02 remaining on a driving layup by Ellis.
Detroit then outscored Milwaukee 9-4 over the remainder of the quarter for a 30-23 lead after one. The Pistons led 55-45 at halftime after leading by as many as 14 twice during the second quarter.
Detroit made 57 percent of its shots and had 36 points in the paint in the first half.
Notes: Sunday was the 22nd anniversary of Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles setting the NBA record of 30 assists in a game on Dec. 30, 1990, while playing for the Orlando Magic. “The game is different now. It would be hard for someone to do it,” Skiles said before the game. “Our team at that time wasn’t that good, so it was an individual thing.” . Detroit G Rodney Stuckey didn’t play because of a left ankle sprain. … Sheila E. performed at halftime. … Mbah a Moute left early in the first quarter with a cut on his lip. He received three stitches and returned late in the quarter.