Bucks come up short against Pistons
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 19 points and Brandon Jennings added 15 against his former team as the Detroit Pistons beat the Milwaukee Bucks 98-95 Friday night.
Josh Smith shot 5-of-14 from the floor two days after a 2-of-17 game, but had a key put back to give the Pistons a 97-93 lead with 15.1 seconds to play, then clinched the game with a steal on the next possession.
Jabari Parker led the Bucks with 18 points, while former Piston Brandon Knight added 17 and nine assists.
The Pistons led for the entire first half, looking like they were getting a grasp on Stan Van Gundy’s offensive system. Van Gundy started Detroit’s big frontcourt — Smith, Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe. But foul trouble meant that the three were rarely on the court together in the half, avoiding their usual offensive-spacing issues.
Detroit lost its offensive flow after halftime, taking bad shots and turning the ball over. Milwaukee took advantage with its first lead late in the third, thanks to a 3-pointer from Knight. But the player he was traded for — Jennings — replied with two of his own.
The Pistons regained the advantage in the fourth, as the Bucks struggled to find scoring from anyone other than Parker and Knight.
Back-to-back driving layups by Giannis Anteokoumpo and Parker pulled Milwaukee within 90-87 with 2:48 left, but Caldwell-Pope answered with a 3-pointer and the Pistons got enough stops to hold on.