After playing with so much energy in the second half against Brooklyn, the Pistons brought the same energy from the tip.
Brandon Jennings, the former Bucks PG, went off in the first quarter. First he assisted on a Kentavious Caldwell-Pope jump shot. Then he found Josh Smith for a layup, then he knocked down a triple, and another triple, then pulled up for yet another triple, and finally a fourth triple. After Jennings' fourth 3, the Pistons led 34-14. It was part of a 21-0 run and the Pistons led 38-18 after a quarter.
Former Pistons PG Brandon Knight struggled with four turnovers in the first quarter. Another former Piston, Khris Middleton, knocked down a couple 3's for Milwaukee.
In the second quarter, Will Bynum made his return off a hamstring injury and found his buddy Andre Drummond for an alley-oop slam. Then Bynum set up Charlie Villanueva for a 3 an Detroit led 44-22.
Milwaukee's Luke Ridnour found Ekpe Udoh for a dunk that brought Milwaukee within 44-28. Coach Mo Cheeks called a timeout and then the Pistons went on a 15-0 run.
Villanueva started it with a floater and a triple. Then Villanueva stripped Ridnour at mid court and raced out for a dunk. Then Drummond had a put back dunk, Rodney Stuckey hit a jumper, Smith had a floater, and Greg Monroe had some free throws. The Pistons led 59-28 and the route was on.
Smith found Stuckey for a 3 for a 65-32 lead. Then Knight scored his first bucket of the evening to bring Milwaukee to within 65-34 and that was the halftime score. The Pistons had five players in double figures at the half. Milwaukee had none.
The second half was just full of sloppy play. The Pistons were just messing around with a huge lead, as human nature will do. Milwaukee was playing hard and the referees were very whistle happy.
Some highlights included Caldwell-Pope being fouled on a triple, Jennings' pass to Jonas Jerebko for a 3 that gave him his second straight double-double, and Jennings' pass to rookie Tony Mitchell for a nice alley-oop slam. Stuckey also had nine points in the half.
It all resulted in the Pistons winning back-to-back games for the first time this season 113-94. Stuckey had 17 off the bench, Monroe had 16, Jennings had 15 and 13 assists against his former team, Drummond had 12 and eight rebounds, Caldwell-Pope had 14, and Villanueva had 12. Smith also had 10. That's seven Piston players in double figures. That's called production. The ball movement was beautiful. It seems like the Pistons are beginning to get the whole chemistry thing down.
Knight, in his return to the Palace, struggled. He had eight points on 2/7 shooting and had six turnovers. Middleton's return fared a little better. He had 14 points on 5/9 shooting and had five rebounds.
The Pistons shot 12/29 from deep, a lot better than their season average from 3. They held Milwaukee to 6/19 from deep. This was after letting Brooklyn shoot 14/26 from 3. This was a good effort, but this was lowly Milwaukee. Let's see how they do on Wednesday against the Chicago Bulls. They'll be without start guard Derrick Rose, but they're still a tough team regardless. Let's see how the Pistons fare.