<
>

Pistons rally past Bucks to keep home win streak alive

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- The Detroit Pistons like to make
things challenging for themselves.

They almost pushed it too far Friday night.

The Pistons fell behind 15-0 in the opening moments, allowed a
15-1 run to close the first half and trailed by 18 points in the
third quarter before rallying to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 112-105.

"I told the guys after the game that they never cease to amaze
me," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said. "When this team is
challenged, they rise up. Games like this aren't good for the
coach's blood pressure, but they show why they are built for the
playoffs."

Chauncey Billups acknowledged that the Pistons believe they can
pull any game out.

"We're never out of a game, no matter what the score might
be," he said. "You can't measure our pride."

Detroit looked especially helpless against Michael Redd, who had
24 points in the first half, but held him to just 13 in the second.

"Michael was just phenomenal," Lindsey Hunter said. "When
guys are shooting like that, it is tough, but we were finally able
to get some stops."

The Pistons never led until the final quarter and still have not
lost a home game to a division rival since March 25, 2005. The
Bucks have now lost six straight in Detroit.

"We had no execution in the fourth and that really hurt us,"
Redd said. "That's a championship team, and they played like it."

After trailing 65-47 in the third quarter, the Pistons tied the
game at 85 early in the fourth on Antonio McDyess' jumper, then
took their first lead of the game moments later.

McDyess added four more points as Detroit went up 100-92 with
4:35 left.

"They went to him four or five times in a row, and when he
makes that jump shot, it opens up everything else for them,"
Milwaukee coach Terry Stotts said. "He was effective and they took
advantage."

McDyess finished with 10 of his 18 points in the fourth.

"He finally got tired at the end," Saunders said. "I told him
that, the way he was rolling, we were going to him until he
couldn't move."

The Bucks scored the next nine points to regain the lead, but
Ben Wallace dunked and Tayshaun Prince blocked Michael Redd's shot
to set up a Billups 3-pointer. After a Redd putback, Rasheed
Wallace's 3-pointer gave the Pistons a 108-103 lead and put the
game away.

"We knew we had to pick it up," Prince said. "We just kept
playing defense."

Richard Hamilton and Prince led the Pistons with 25 points each.
Rasheed Wallace added 21 points and 10 rebounds.

The Bucks scored the game's first 15 points, including eight
from Redd, but the Pistons had already narrowed the margin to 27-22
by the end of the first quarter.

The Pistons tied the game at 44 late in the second, but Redd had
12 points in a 15-1 run to finish the period. Redd hit nine of 11
shots in the half, including all five of his 3-point attempts.

Redd started the second half by hitting a sixth-straight
3-pointer and the Bucks built a 69-51 lead.

"Michael played a terrific game," Stotts said. "It was
entertaining, but I'm not taking much consolation in that."

The Pistons then rallied as Milwaukee started to throw the ball
away. Detroit pulled within 81-78 on Hamilton's jumper at the end
of the third quarter.

Game notes
Despite falling to 36-36, the Bucks still hold the sixth
seed in the Eastern Conference. The last time that three teams with
sub.-500 records made the playoffs in one conference was 1991-92,
when New Jersey (40-42), Indiana (40-42) and Miami (38-44) all made
it. They went a combined 1-9 in the East's first round. ...
Milwaukee's 59 first-half points matched Detroit's worst defensive
outing of the season.<