(SportsNetwork.com) – The Detroit Pistons earned their first win of the season
and will try to make it two in a row when the Milwaukee Bucks come to The
Palace of Auburn Hills Friday night.
The Pistons picked up that first win Wednesday with a 98-95 home triumph over
the New York Knicks.
Greg Monroe racked up 23 points and 18 rebounds in the Pistons’ victory, their
first of the Stan Van Gundy era.
Monroe’s monster performance and a 20-point effort out of Kentavious Caldwell-
Pope got Detroit in the win column after opening Van Gundy’s first season as
head coach with three straight losses.
“We made it a little tougher than it had to be, but definitely happy to get
the win,” Monroe said.
The Pistons dominated the glass, outrebounding the Knicks by a 55-43 margin
and recording 19 second-chance points, and went 11-of-23 from 3-point range in
addition to playing lockdown defense on Carmelo Anthony for much of the night.
Anthony finished with 13 points.
Andre Drummond added 13 rebounds and Josh Smith had 10. Smith finished a rough
2-of-17 from the field but shined on the other end, leading an effort that
held Anthony without a basket in the first half and a 5-of-21 shooting
performance for the game.
The Bucks have alternated losses and wins this season. Their most recent
outing was a home setback to the Chicago Bulls, 95-86, Wednesday at the
Derrick Rose returned to the Bulls’ lineup after missing two games with two
sprained ankles. His Bulls did it with defense as Milwaukee shot 37 percent
from the floor and 20 percent from long range.
Giannis Antetokounmpo paced the Bucks with 13 points off the bench, while
Brandon Knight stuffed the stat sheet with 10 points, nine rebounds, seven
assists and five steals but shot just 3-of-15 from the field.
Khris Middleton was the only other double-figure scorer with 11 points off the
“I think a lot of it was maybe rushing shots,” said Bucks head coach Jason
Kidd. “We were being unselfish, we just didn’t finish plays.”
The Pistons took three of four meetings with their fellow Central Division
dwellers last season. Detroit has taken three of the last four matchups
against the Bucks in The Palace and seven of the last 10.