Pistons 99, Bucks 94
MILWAUKEE (AP)—The Detroit Pistons are within one victory of matching the longest winning streak in franchise history.
“The biggest thing is execution,” Pistons coach Larry Brown said after his team extended its winning streak to 12 games, getting 26 points from Chauncey Billups and 22 from Richard Hamilton in a 99-94 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night. “We’ve played better as a team in every area.”
With one more victory, the Pistons will match the franchise record of 13 straight set during the 1989-90 championship season. Their next game is at home Monday against San Antonio.
“We’ve had different guys step up,” Brown said. “But we’ve really, really played well as a team.”
Detroit never led by more than 10 points, but the Bucks hurt their chances at winning their 11th straight home game by shooting 45 percent (38-of-85).
Detroit shot 51.4 percent and outrebounded the Bucks 45-32.
“You just can’t allow a team to shoot 51 percent,” Bucks coach Terry Porter said. “You’re not going to beat anybody in this league if you allow them to shoot 51 percent”
Wallace’s layup gave Detroit the lead late in the second quarter and the Pistons withstood every run the Bucks made until the fourth quarter.
“When we got down two, we just kind of settled down,” Brown said. “Chuckie made a big 3.”
The Bucks hadn’t lost at home since a 114-109 overtime setback on Dec. 6 to Washington. The Pistons hadn’t won 11 straight since the 1990-91 season.
“Detroit’s playing tough right now,” Redd said. “We had to match their intensity. We did for the most part of the game.”
Okur’s basket gave the Pistons a 60-50 lead with 6:03 to go in the third, but the Bucks stayed close and finally pulled to 72-71 on nine straight points from Redd.
Thomas hit a 38-foot 3-pointer just before the buzzer, but Billups’ 14points and Wallace’s 10 had the Pistons ahead 47-42 at the half.
Detroit had 21 defensive rebounds to Milwaukee’s 12 in the first half. … The Bucks are 15-5 at the Bradley Center, the second best home record in the Eastern Conference behind 16-4 for Indiana. … Bucks C Dan Gadzuric missed his fifth straight game with a right knee injury. … The Pistons improved to 20-1 when they score at least 90 points. … With 18,717 in the Bradley Center,the Bucks had their fifth sellout of the season.