The Detroit Pistons exploded for 33 points in the third quarter on Friday night, and the Milwaukee Bucks just never managed to put forth a proper response as the Pistons emerged with a 103-87 road win. Greg Monroe led all scorers with 26 points on 11-of-19 shooting and he tied Andre Drummond for the game-high with 11 rebounds as the squad from Motown blasted past the Bucks with a 33-11 run following intermission.
Beno Udrih was the only Bucks player to shoot better than 50 percent from the field (7-of-10 FGs), and he matched Brandon Jennings (5-of-13 FGs) for the team-high in points in a sloppy and uneven performance by the home team. It was a night to forget at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
The Pistons kill our dreams. My working theory going into the game on Friday night was that the Detroit Pistons are out to kill the dreams of every optimistic Milwaukee Bucks on the planet. Let's just say I didn't see anything on Friday that will change my mind.
Pistons head coach Lawrence Frank looks like a younger version of Scott Skiles. The resemblance isn't uncanny, but it's close enough to be a bit off-putting. That's all I've got on Pistons strategy. They don't make sense. Detroit converted just 30.0 percent of their shots (12-of-40 FGs) over the first 20 minutes of action despite four full days of rest leading into this game, but they managed to hang around long enough to mount a huge run in the third quarter.
Beno Udrih rescued the Bucks from complete disaster in the first half. He dropped in his usual mix of elbow jumpers and PUJITs to pace all scorers with 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting heading into the intermission. The Bucks starters combined to hit just 12-of-29 attempts over that same span. Jason Maxiell , Beno Udrih and Monta Ellis were the only three players to shoot over 50 percent from the field in the first half. T'was ugly.
The dreaded third quarter. The Bucks actually held an eight-point lead coming out of tunnel, but unfortunately (for them) the final 24 minutes of the game also counted towards the final score. Milwaukee suffered an epic breakdown in the third period, while the Pistons finally started hitting their shots.
The Bucks put in 5-of-21 shots (23.8 percent) and only managed three points in the paint as the Pistons turned to Greg Monroe (12 points in the 3Q) and Brandon Knight (10 points in 3Q) to lead a decisive 33-11 run that left the Bucks down 14 at home heading into the final frame.
Someone tell the Pistons we all determined two wins meant that everything was right and that the Bucks had been fixed, so they stop winning.— Jeremy Schmidt (@Bucksketball) January 12, 2013
Boylan had already tried Marquis Daniels and Samuel Dalembert earlier in the game (to no avail), so he turned to Drew Gooden in the fourth quarter as things continued to go south. Then he added Dalembert back to the mix to form the potent Gooden / Dalembert frontcourt. There are no words for this experience.
The Gooden/Dalembert frontcourt has entered.— Jeremy Schmidt (@Bucksketball) January 12, 2013
Well at least a black hole didn't destroy the Bradley Center. That's about the best you can say about Dalembert— Ian Segovia (@Ian_Segovia) January 12, 2013
The Bucks failed to make a serious dent in Detroit's lead during the fourth quarter, and eventually they went quietly into the night as most of the on-lookers sat in their seats with stunned looks on their faces. The boo birds never did arrive; not even in the moments when the Pistons pushed their lead to 20+ points.
Next up for the Bucks is a four-game road trip that will start in Toronto on Sunday afternoon.