Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 11/27

Game 1: Saturday, November 27th
Game 2: Friday, January 21st
Game 3: Monday, February 14th
Game 4: Friday, April 15th

Pistons 86

(23-16, 10-10 away)

Bucks 89

(14-24, 10-8 home)

    Coverage: WDWB

    7:30 PM ET, January 21, 2005

    BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI

    1 2 3 4 T
    DET 22 26 18 2086
    MIL 23 21 22 2389

    Top Performers

    Det: T. Prince 26 Pts, 5 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl

    Mil: M. James 20 Pts, 2 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    James proves point vs. former team

    MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Detroit coach Larry Brown is glad Mike James is finally making the big bucks. He just wishes his former point guard wasn't earning it against his Pistons.

    James, who is making $3 million this year in Milwaukee after helping Detroit win the NBA title last summer as the team's designated defensive stopper, scored 20 points in the Bucks' 89-86 victory over the Pistons on Friday night.

    It wasn't just another game for James.

    "It's always going to be something between us because we had so much fun last year," James said. "And so now being on separate teams, guys are going to talk junk. It's definitely personal. But you can't worry about that. You just have to understand, when you're in the game, play ball."

    James and Rasheed Wallace exchanged good-natured barbs all night with James getting the last laugh.

    "Yeah, I punched him in the stomach. He got mad at me," James said, chuckling. "We have fun on the court, even though we're going to fight to the finish."

    That, they did.

    The Bucks' second win in two tries against Detroit this season wasn't assured until Richard Hamilton's off-balance 3-pointer at the buzzer banged off the rim.

    "That team has been struggling," Pistons guard Chauncey Billups said. "When you play a team whose backs are against the wall, you know you're going to get a great effort. And they played good. Michael James came up huge for them. He hit some big, big shots."

    Brown, who said before tip-off he was glad James cashed in on free agency, agreed that James was the spark, "but what hurt us is we don't go to the free throw line. We shoot all jump shots and we got hurt on loose balls, rebounds."

    "You can't make mistakes late in the game, and then our shot selection late is not the best," Brown said. "When we've got an advantage inside and we're not getting to the line, there's something wrong."

    The Pistons shot 13 free throws to Milwaukee's 24 even though the Bucks often had a much smaller lineup on the court, and Brown noted that Rasheed Wallace hasn't gotten to the free throw line once in the last two games despite taking 37 shots from the field.

    Ben Wallace also had an off-night, grabbing just three rebounds in 38 minutes -- 10 below his average.

    "It wasn't a typical Ben game," Brown said.

    Tayshaun Prince tied his career high with 26 points, set Monday night at Phoenix, but managed only a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter for Detroit, which lost its second straight after winning six in a row.

    Desmond Mason's two free throws gave Milwaukee an 87-86 lead with 49 seconds left.

    After Ben Wallace missed a short shot at the other end, the Bucks lost the handle on the ball but it touched Hamilton while going out of bounds, giving Milwaukee possession with 11.3 seconds remaining and the shot clock off.

    Billups fouled Michael Redd, who sank his first free throw but his second rang out and the Pistons called timeout with 10.2 seconds left, trailing 88-86.

    Rasheed Wallace missed a 3-pointer and James was fouled by Billups. James missed his first shot, made his second and the Pistons had one more chance to send it into overtime after a timeout with 1.2 seconds left.

    Prince found Hamilton on the far side, but his off-balance jumper hit the rim.

    Game notes

    The Pistons acquired point guard Carlos Arroyo from Utah on Friday in a trade that sent center Elden Campbell and a first-round pick after 2006 to the Jazz -- a move they probably wouldn't have had to make had they kept James. ... The Bucks, last in the Central Division, improved to 5-0 against division opponents at the Bradley Center this season. ... Milwaukee coach Terry Porter said F Keith Van Horn will continue to be limited to 15 to 20 minutes a game on doctor's orders as he recovers from right ankle tendinitis.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 86 89
    FGM-FGA 35-75 (.467) 32-70 (.457)
    3PM-3PA 6-16 (.375) 8-11 (.727)
    FTM-FTA 10-13 (.769) 17-24 (.708)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-30 12-37
    Assists 22 17
    Turnovers 10 13
    Steals 6 7
    Blocks 4 5
    Fast Break Points 12 4
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 18 (0/0) 16 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 7 5

    Top Performers

    Tayshaun Prince Prince
    Points: 26
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Mike James James
    Points: 20
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1