The Pistons caught the Bucks feeling good about a modest win streak and, for the second time in a month, cut it short.
Milwaukee made it to halftime with an eight-point lead, but the Detroit Pistons flattened the Bucks by outscoring them in the third quarter by a 33-11 margin. It was every bit as ugly as it sounds.
Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight had 26 and 20 points, respectively, for the Pistons, while Monroe and Andre Drummond had 11 rebounds each. Drummond also had four blocks in just 17 minutes.
Knight outplayed Brandon Jennings. Whatever good feelings Jennings had going after the last two wins are probably lost now. Let’s move on.
Beno Udrih propelled the Bucks to that halftime lead with an 13-point second quarter, hitting all six of his shots. He did it the usual Beno way with a series of pullups and duck-unders after spin moves.
The Bucks made just one of 15 three-point shots in the game, but to be honest, not many of those 15 were good looks. Poor ball movement doomed the Bucks all night long.
Monta Ellis tried gamely to impact the game. On one sequence, he dove to the floor to help the Bucks corral a loose ball. He used a spin move on the subsequent possession and lost the ball out of bounds while trying to turn on an unsupportive ankle.
Ellis had 13 points on 12 shots, to go with five assists and a steal.
When Jim Boylan went to his bench for a spark to begin the fourth quarter, he unshelved Drew Gooden and paired him with John Henson. That duo played defense in a way that sparked the Pistons. Not long after, Henson came out for Samuel Dalembert (also a defensive dud in this game), and Boylan emptied the rest of his bench for garbage minutes.
Ersan’s shot chart: (from ESPN.com)
The Bucks were generating a ton of open looks for Ersan Ilyasova in the first quarter and he was having none of it.
Milwaukee used a lot of drive-and-kick action to spot Ersan those first-quarter jumpers. He shot them without the hesitation that strangled him in November, but they just didn’t go in.
On a night with subpar ball movement, this action was adequate but unrewarding.
In a way, Milwaukee’s first-half lead didn’t feel “big enough” — as if they had outplayed the Pistons by more than eight points, but just didn’t have the lead to show for it. When Detroit caught fire in the third quarter, these missed shots bit them in the butt.
The Bucks play at noon Sunday in Toronto.
A few tweets
I think Brandon Jennings just airballed a 4-foot scoop shot. I also think it’s not the first time I’ve seen him do it.
— Steven von Horn (@StevevonHorn) January 12, 2013
Pistons just won a 99-possession game. They’ve been terrible in up-tempo games this year, so that’s a good sign.
— Dave Hogg (@Stareagle) January 12, 2013
In the final seconds, Villanueva tried to throw a lob dunk off the glass to Drummond. Lawrence Frank was so mad he sprinted on the court.
— Andrew Gruman (@AndrewGruman) January 12, 2013