A 30-point lead almost went to waste for the Milwaukee Bucks after getting outscored 19-10 in the final quarter, but Jason Kidd's Bucks still squeaked out a 101-86 final. The win gave Milwaukee the season series against Detroit (3-1), and gave them their first three-game winning streak against the Pistons since 2002.
Here are five observations from the victory:
1. O.J. Mayo had the juice tonight (20 points, 8-of-14 shooting), and it all started pumping in the second quarter. Mayo scored 12 points for Milwaukee, including four triples (three of them came consecutively) that helped stretch a 24-6 run. He's been shooting the ball ridiculously well recently, shooting 58 percent on 41-of-71 shots over his last seven games for the Bucks. Mayo's 14 helped lead the Bucks' bench to 25 points in relief for Milwaukee in the second, as the team scored 40 total in the quarter. Detroit was outscored 68-39 in the second and third quarters..
"He was great." Jason Kidd said after the game. "He's been shooting the ball extremely well for us. I also think he's competing on the defensive end. Juice got going there and got us that lead, but I thought all the shots he took were great shots."
"He's come up big during games. Just giving us scoring and a lot of energy." Point guard Brandon Knight said of him.
2. The Bucks shot the ball extremely well from three-point range in this game. They only missed four shots when they were 11-of-15 near the end of the third, and ended the game shooting 65 percent. Of their 11 made triples, six came from the second unit, including the four from Mayo.
"We watched film and really paid attention to the little details to get better." Mayo explained. "That's all we can ask for as a young team, we want to get better."
3. This was the best performance from the Bucks ball movement wise. Milwaukee finished the game with a season-high 33 dimes, including 13 in the second and 11 in the third. The Bucks assisted on 80 percent of their field goals through three quarters.
"One of the best and better nights for us moving the ball," Knight said, "we just focused on it. The second unit came in and got us going as well and it carried over. It helped a lot tonight."
"Definitely was a good job moving the ball tonight." Khris Middleton said. "We moved the ball a lot more, found the best shot available each time."
4. Kidd noted before the game that he wanted his team to focus on the Pistons' rebounding and shooting from behind the arc. The Bucks did a solid job of that, staying near the rebounding battle with Detroit, 46-45, and holding the Pistons to just 24 percent from three-point range.
Milwaukee aimed to keep shooters like former Bucks Jodie Meeks (no three-point attempts) and Brandon Jennings (1-for-5) off their spots.
"Just focusing on our certain principles." Knight said. "Knowing certain guys we wanted to run off the line trying to keep them on their weaknesses. Keeping them off the offensive boards as well."
5. We haven't seen much of anything from veteran Kenyon Martin of late, who's on his second 10-day contract with the Bucks. His newest contract was signed on Monday, but even with limited action the last two games, Kidd is still satisfied with his contributions and was asked whether he believes Kenyon has added what he wanted.
"Yeah, he's a voice, a veteran guy that can share his experience with players. Sometimes, we look at older players like they have to play at a high level on the floor, but there's no better way to learn this game while you have someone talking to you on the bench, or at dinner, or at practice."
The win gave the Bucks their second win in the Bradley Center in their last seven games. Milwaukee finally gets a break from a rough home stretch as they left tonight to San Antonio to start a three-game road trip.