AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Ray Allen scored 28 points for Milwaukee on Saturday night but his biggest play came on defense.
Allen stole a long inbounds pass in the last second, denying the Detroit Pistons a chance to attempt a tying or winning shot as the Bucks beat the Pistons 89-87.
The Pistons had a chance to pull within one with a minute left, but Chauncey Billups missed a layup in traffic. After a Milwaukee miss, Billups was fouled and made one of two free throws to make it 89-87.
The Bucks ran down the shot clock, but Allen missed a runner with 1.9 seconds to play, giving the Pistons one last chance.
Allen then stepped in front of a long inbounds pass by Corliss Williamson, clinching the game for Milwaukee, which never trailed.
"It's very seldom that you can go the whole game with the lead,'' Bucks coach George Karl said. "We were fatigued a little bit in the fourth quarter, but fortunately, we hung on enough to make plays.''
Both teams were coming off Friday night overtime wins and missing key players to injury, with Wallace (ankle) and Milwaukee's Sam Cassell (back) in street clothes.
"We couldn't think it was going to be an easy victory,'' Allen said. "Ben is a tremendous rebounder, so with him out, we wanted to try to really clean the boards.''
With Wallace out, the Bucks held a 39-26 rebounding edge.
"We are getting ripped on the boards without Ben, and that's tough to overcome,'' said Jon Barry. "I think it is fair to say we've missed him a lot.''
Thomas added 15 points for Milwaukee, while Jason Caffey had 13. Toni Kukoc had nine in his second game back after thumb surgery.
Billups led the Pistons with 26, while Barry had 14, all in the fourth quarter, but it wasn't enough as Detroit's four-game winning streak was snapped.
"We were just never able to sustain anything on either end of
the floor,'' Pistons coach Rick Carlisle said. "We found a way to
beat New Orleans without Ben, but we weren't able to figure it out
Milwaukee led by as many as 16 before Detroit narrowed the gap
to 49-41 at the half. Allen had 12 points in the half.
Allen scored all of Milwaukee's points in a 7-2 run to start the
third, but Billups answered with 10 points in less than three
minutes to help Detroit pull within 58-52 midway through the
period. Milwaukee scored the next eight points to move the margin
back to 16.
The Bucks led 69-58 after three quarters, but Robinson's layup
made it a four-point game, 76-72, with 8:07 left.
The Bucks made their first eight field-goal attempts while
building a 20-8 lead. Anthony Mason broke the streak when he missed
a contested layup seven minutes into the game. ... Mason and Cliff
Robinson each picked up technicals for arguing a call. Milwaukee
was also called for three defensive three-second technicals. ...
Four of the game's 10 starters -- Detroit's Robinson and Richard Hamilton for Detroit and Allen and Kevin Ollie for Milwaukee -- went to the University of Connecticut.