Bucks fall in princely fashion
AUBURN HILLS, MICH. 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 hit both shots.
“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.”