Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 11/7

Game 1: Friday, November 7th
Bucks99Final
Pistons105
Game 2: Tuesday, December 23rd
Pistons78Final
Bucks83
Game 3: Saturday, January 17th
Pistons99Final
Bucks94
Game 4: Wednesday, February 18th
Bucks98Final
Pistons102

Bucks 99

(3-3, 2-2 away)

Pistons 105

(4-1, 2-1 home)

    8:00 PM ET, November 7, 2003

    The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIL 23 22 33 2199
    DET 34 26 25 20105

    Top Performers

    Milwaukee: M. Redd 28 Pts, 7 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl

    Detroit: C. Billups 27 Pts, 3 Reb, 7 Ast, 2 Stl

    Okur grabs 18 boards for Pistons

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- For one quarter Friday night, the Detroit Pistons were everything Larry Brown could want.

    Tayshaun Prince

    Tayshaun Prince has made an excellent Pistons starter.

    It didn't last, but that didn't matter.

    Detroit led 18-4 in the opening minutes and ended up hanging on for its fourth consecutive victory, 105-99 over the Milwaukee Bucks.

    "The ball movement we had early on was tremendous," Brown said. "We tried to keep that up all game, but give Milwaukee credit, they got contributions from a lot of guys and they fought back."

    Detroit shot 64 percent en route to a 34-23 lead after one quarter, getting at least four points from all five starters. The Pistons finished the period with 10 assists and only one turnover.

    "We've been focusing on getting off to a good start, and that was beautiful," Chauncey Billups said. "That's the best way to play basketball."

    Milwaukee coach Terry Porter was frustrated with his team's continuing early struggles.

    "Our starters need to come out and give us a lift so that we don't keep getting down early," he said. "I have to give our bench guys a great deal of credit for really getting us back in the game and even giving us a chance to win."

    Billups led Detroit with 27 points and Richard Hamilton added 24, but the player of the game might have been reserve Mehmet Okur, who had 12 points and a career-best 18 rebounds. Ben Wallace added 10 points and 15 boards.

    "This was my dream come true. I had more rebounds than Ben," Okur said. "I just felt great tonight. I've been pushing myself very hard, and I feel like I brought us a lot of energy tonight."

    Michael Redd led Milwaukee with 28 points. Former Piston Damon Jones added 15.

    "Coming back from the deficit tonight was a real positive, but we have to understand that the final outcome is what goes in the standings," Jones said. "We would have been fine if we had stayed close instead of going down by 15."

    After Detroit's quick start, Milwaukee got as close as 38-30 in the second quarter, but the Pistons had the lead back to 60-45 at halftime.

    Redd hit two 3-pointers to start the third period, cutting the margin to 11, then had four points in a 16-5 run that pulled the Bucks to 74-69 late in the quarter.

    Detroit's lead was 85-78 after three periods, and the teams traded baskets for the first seven minutes of the fourth.

    A three-point play by Redd keyed a 7-0 run that pulled Milwaukee to 96-95 with 3:59 to go.

    But Hamilton hit consecutive jumpers to increase the lead to five points, and Detroit held on.

    "That finish wasn't by design, that's for sure," Billups said. "But, as good as we played early, the best thing about tonight is the way we hung on when they made a run at us late. Even when they got it to one point, we stayed calm and did the right things."

    Game Notes: Okur tied a team record with six offensive rebounds in the second quarter. .... Detroit rookie Darko Milicic made his home debut in the first half. He went 0-2 with a foul and a turnover in five minutes. ... Milwaukee's Brian Skinner had arthroscopic knee surgery on Thursday and is expected to miss six weeks.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    MIL
    DET
    Points 99 105
    FGM-FGA 36-86 (.419) 39-87 (.448)
    3PM-3PA 2-11 (.182) 5-10 (.500)
    FTM-FTA 25-29 (.862) 22-28 (.786)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 16-45 16-50
    Assists 21 23
    Turnovers 12 12
    Steals 8 8
    Blocks 1 9
    Fast Break Points 5 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (0/0) 25 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Milwaukee
    Detroit
    Michael Redd Redd
    Points: 28
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Chauncey Billups Billups
    Points: 27
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 7
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0