Prince’s Late FTs Lift Pistons Over Bucks 96-94
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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Tayshaun Prince made the game-winning shots from the free throw line. His work in the low post set it up.
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, who led Detroit with 20 points, did much of his damage down low and that’s where he was when Luc Mbah a Moute fouled the veteran small forward to send him to the free throw line with the opportunity to win the game.
“I just had a real good rhythm down there tonight,” Prince said. “And they kept looking for me.”
Greg Monroe added 14 points and 10 rebounds for Detroit, which had five players in double figures. Charlie Villanueva and Brandon Knight scored 11 apiece, while Jason Maxiell had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Prince’s impact, however, went beyond the numbers.
“Just his presence out there helps us,” Knight said. “He’s a big-time player and he’s been in those situations so many times.”
Monta Ellis had 30 points and nine assists, and Erson Ilyasova scored 24 for the Bucks.
“It seemed like they were getting whatever they wanted,” Milwaukee’s Mike Dunleavy said. “And I just thought our offensive rhythm was terrible to start the game. Finally we got some stuff going, but we didn’t start well.”
Both teams were coming off wins over the defending NBA champions. 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, Mbah a Moute fouled Prince, who stepped to the line and produced the game-winning points.
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.
“It was more than a bad start, it was a bad 3½ quarters,” Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles said. “They outplayed us except for maybe six to eight minutes the whole game.”
NOTES: Sunday was the 22nd anniversary of Skiles setting the NBA record of 30 assists in a game for the Orlando Magic. “The game is different now. It would be hard for someone to do it,” he said. “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 period.
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