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[1] => ) Array ( [0] => 9 [1] => ) Array ( [0] => 6 [1] => ) Array ( [0] => 4 [1] => 5 ) Array ( [0] => 1 [1] => ) Array ( [0] => 9 [1] => ) Array ( [0] => 6 [1] => ) Array ( [0] => 1 [1] => ) Array ( [0] => 5 [1] => ) Bucks 92, Pistons 88 - NBA - Yahoo Sports

Bucks 92, Pistons 88

Preview | Box Score | Recap | Series Breakdown

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP)—Michael Redd was relieved the Milwaukee Bucks had just enough to hold off Detroit’s frantic comeback.

Redd scored a career playoff high 26 points and the Bucks held on to beat the Pistons 92-88 Wednesday in Game 2, evening their series.

Milwaukee led 87-72 with 3:13 left, but needed a costly miscue by Detroit and Redd to convert two free throws to escape with the win.

“It probably would’ve destroyed us if we lost because of the way we played,” Redd said. “It would’ve been a travesty.”

After Milwaukee’s Damon Jones missed two free throws with 9.5 seconds left, with a two-point lead, the Pistons had a chance to tie or go ahead.

Rasheed Wallace took a pass in the corner, mishandled the ball and it went out of bounds with 4.1 seconds left.

“I ain’t making no excuses,” Wallace said. “It just slipped out of my hands.”

Redd then made two free throws to seal the win against a team many picked to advance to the NBA Finals.

“I’m not buying into the fact that we’re going to lay down and give this series away,” Redd said. “We definitely want to win it. We’re a tough team.”

Game 3 in the first round, best-of-seven series is Saturday in Milwaukee.

Redd, the Bucks’ leading scorer, was held to 11 points in Game 1—about half his average. He also made seven of Milwaukee’s 25 turnovers in its 108-82 loss Sunday.

Redd scored his 12th point on the opening possession of the second half Wednesday.

He made his first three shots, two of them 3-pointers, and had nine points by the end of the first quarter.

“I just wanted to come out and be aggressive at the offensive end no matter what they threw at me,” Redd said. “Coach ran some plays and fortunately I hit some shots. It was huge because I think it helped our team get in the flow of the game.”

Chauncey Billups led Detroit with 20 points before fouling out. Richard Hamilton had 18 points before fouling out and being ejected with a second technical foul with 4:58 left.

Pistons coach Larry Brown hated the way his team played.

“We took 25 3s and played like strangers,” Brown said. “Our guards forgot we have big people.”

Rasheed Wallace had 16 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. Ben Wallace had seven points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.

The Bucks’ 100th playoff win was also their first on the road against the Pistons in three playoff meetings.

After a close first quarter, Milwaukee went ahead for good with 4:48 left in the first half.

The Bucks led by as much as 14 in the third quarter and maintained a comfortable cushion until Detroit rallied with nine straight points, pulling within 87-81 with 1:36 to go.

Milwaukee struggled with turnovers again—20 of them led to 21 points for Detroit—but overcame them by outrebounding the Pistons by 11 and holding them to 40.2 percent shooting.

Before the game, Redd said his teammates would provide plenty of help on offense, and they did.

Desmond Mason scored 15 and Joe Smith added 11 points and 13 rebounds. The Bucks’ reserves scored 21 points before a player from Detroit’s bench scored— with three minutes left.

Milwaukee reserve Toni Kukoc had 15 points and nine rebounds, and backup Brevin Knight scored 11.

“Obviously, our bench came in and gave us a big lift,” Milwaukee coach Terry Porter said. “Brevin was good and Toni gave us a huge lift.”

The Pistons trailed just twice in Game 1, both times in the first quarter, and it looked as if their momentum carried over when they had two dunks in the first 45 seconds.

But Milwaukee quickly proved it didn’t come to Detroit for another rout.

Notes

Redd’s previous career high in the playoffs was 20 points last year in the first round against New Jersey. … Porter and Miami’s Stan Van Gundy, both rookie head coaches, tied for third in NBA Coach of the Year voting. … Faces in the crowd included Lions coach Steve Mariucci, Chicago’s Jerome Williams (a former Piston) and ex-Michigan star Chris Perry, who is expected to be amongthe top running backs taken Saturday in the NFL draft.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 Milwaukee
D. Mason D. Mason
6-17,  17 Pts
4 Rebs, 5 Assists
 Detroit
R. Wallace R. Wallace
7-12,  16 Pts
12 Rebs, 5 Assists

Team Stat Leaders

Points
Rebounds
Assists