AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Josh Smith saved his only 3-pointers for when the Detroit Pistons needed them most.
His first started a 12-0 run midway through the fourth quarter that gave the Pistons the lead for good and the next gave Detroit breathing room in its 116-111 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night.
Greg Monroe matched his season-best with 28 points and had 14 rebounds to help Detroit end a three-game skid in a matchup of the NBA Central Division's worst two teams. Smith scored eight of his 26 during the decisive run.
"It kind of was a relief," Smith said of his first 3-pointer, which got the Pistons within 98-95 with 5:2 left in the game. "I knew if I just stepped into it and shot it with confidence we could make a push."
He had a 3-point play later in the run and added his second 3-pointer and a subsequent dunk with a minute to play to put the game away. Smith finished the fourth with 15 points and was 11 for 19 from the floor overall.
"It seemed like every shot he made in the fourth quarter was a big shot," Monroe said. "We obviously needed him to kind of pull away."
Brandon Knight had 25 points and Ramon Sessions added 20 and 11 assists for Milwaukee, which lost its 10th consecutive road game and dropped the season series with the Pistons 3-1.
The Bucks outscored the Pistons 13-6 in the final four minutes of the first half and took a 61-52 lead to intermission. Detroit trailed by as many as 11 points early in the third but took the lead with a 12-0 run before heading into the final period trailing 82-81.
Andre Drummond had 10 points and 16 boards and Brandon Jennings added 20 points and 13 assists for Detroit, which won despite going to the line 21 times to Milwaukee's 36.