Pistons down the Bucks
He scored a season-high 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting and Rodney Stuckey added 18 to help the Pistons beat the Milwaukee Bucks, 93-81, on Tuesday night.
“It’s a matter of time before we get back in our flow,” Prince said. “It takes a while. You want it to come back as soon as you step on the basketball court, but in this game, it doesn’t happen that way.”
Rookie Brandon Jennings was 5 of 16 from the floor as he struggled to find his shooting stroke for the sixth consecutive game. He scored 11 of his 18 points in the second half and helped rally the Bucks in the third.
Andrew Bogut added 17 points and 18 rebounds for the Bucks (23-27), who had crept back into playoff contention with five wins in their previous six games. They had been unbeaten in seven home games in 2010.
“We didn’t make shots,” said Bogut, who was 8 of 21. “It was one of those games where you don’t make shots, it looks worse than it is. The energy was decent. It was the matter of putting the ball in the basket. We couldn’t do that tonight.”
Prince, who missed 26 games with a small ruptured disc in his lower back and six with a sore left knee, had his best game of the 18 he’s played this season.
Leading 64-62 going into the fourth, the Bucks tied it twice before Jason Maxiell’s short jumper ignited a 16-6 run that turned the game decisively in the Pistons’ favor. Ben Gordon’s jumper capped the run and gave Detroit an 87-75 lead with 2:50 to go, and they never looked back.
Detroit shot 65 percent in the fourth and outscored the Bucks 29-19.
Pistons coach John Kuester liked the contribution he got from Gordon and Maxiell off the bench and from Stuckey, who started.
“We had a number of guys do a great job contributing,” Kuester said. “I’ve been seeing this progression.”
Gordon scored seven of his 18 in the fourth quarter for the Pistons (18-32), who had lost six of the last eight games. Stuckey scored six points during the game-changing run and finished with seven assists.
The Pistons capitalized on the Bucks’ disastrous 4-for-25 shooting and jumped out to a 20-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.
“Normally, it’s tough to win games when you get nine points in a quarter,” Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. “We never could get anything going.”
Jennings shook off a 2 for 9 first-half shooting slump with 10 points early in the third to help the Bucks erase the Pistons’ 45-38 halftime lead. His fastbreak layup gave the Bucks a 53-52 lead, their first since midway through the first.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute’s reverse layup with 2:53 left in the quarter gave the Bucks a brief 60-56 lead, but the Pistons answered with an 8-0 run to go ahead 64-60.