The Milwaukee Bucks did a good job dealing with being short-handed and playing on short rest their last time out.
The same can’t be said for how the Detroit Pistons handled the same set of circumstances.
The Pistons will begin a stretch of three road games in as many nights Monday when they visit the Bucks for the second time this month.
Milwaukee (8-11) defeated the Lakers 100-89 on Saturday, bouncing back from a 107-100 loss at Chicago the previous night. Already playing without injured center Andrew Bogut, the Bucks learned shortly before Saturday’s game that Stephen Jackson was suspended for verbal abuse of an official and failure to leave the court in a timely manner against the Bulls.
“We needed pretty much everybody,” said Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, who had a season-high 10 points. “I think everybody tonight came in and had good effort. We need to sustain that for the rest of this season, with Bogut not being there.”
While Bogut is expected to miss 8-12 weeks for a fractured left ankle he suffered Wednesday, Jackson is eligible to return but has been held without a basket in his last two home games.
The Pistons (4-17) have struggled to make baskets on the road, where they are averaging a league-low 81.4 points while going 1-9.
Detroit shot 34.9 percent in a 95-74 defeat at Philadelphia on Saturday, one night after blowing a six-point lead in the final 54 seconds of regulation in a 107-101 overtime loss to visiting Atlanta.
“It’s all about resolve,” coach Lawrence Frank said. “It’s how you react. It’s not a college season.”
Greg Monroe posted his third straight double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds Saturday for Detroit, which has lost four straight and eight of nine.
“You’re going to have off nights, but you have to continue to play on both ends,” Monroe said. “I think we did an OK job of continuing to play, but like I said, it’s hard to continue to play hard when you know you’re missing easy shots, shots you know you can make.”
Monroe scored a career-high 32 points to go with 16 rebounds in a 102-93 loss at Milwaukee on Jan. 12. Rookie Brandon Knight added 20 points.
Jackson and Brandon Jennings combined for 52 points in that victory - the Bucks’ most recent one at home before Saturday. The Lakers game began a stretch in which Milwaukee plays five of six at home.
“I think the fact that we got home games, hopefully we can count on that, the fact that we’ll be at home, we’ll be in our house where we’re comfortable at and where we’re used to playing,” said Jennings, averaging 23.9 points in the last seven games despite being held to 12 on Saturday. “So I think it’s just a great thing that we’re back at home.”
Drew Gooden scored 23 points - he’s averaging 10.2 - for the second consecutive game Saturday as Milwaukee shot 50.0 from the field for the first time in 10 games.