Former Atlanta Hawks star Josh Smith wasn’t having a good game against the Milwaukee Bucks, but he decided to take over the game in the final quarter to lead the Detroit Pistons to a hard-fought win in front of their fans.
After scoring only 11 points – while shooting 5-of-10 from the field – in the first three quarters, Smith decided to carry his team’s offense in the final 12 minutes. The big man scored a whooping 15 points – making six of his nine shots and including some clutch three-pointers – during the fourth quarter to finish the game with 26 points while leading Detroit to a much-needed 116-111 win against the lowly Bucks.
This is a huge win for the Pistons and while it might not make a huge difference in the standings, it should do wonders for the team’s confidence and chemistry in the final weeks of the regular season. After being put to shame by the Philadelphia 76ers – who ended their historical losing streak with a huge win over Detroit – the Pistons needed to avoid another sounding defeat against one of the NBA’s worst teams and while it was harder than expected, Detroit came through in the clutch.
Smith didn’t do it all by himself and he received plenty of help from the only bright spots on Motor City this year: Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond. Monroe carried the team during the first three quarters and ended with 28 points and 14 rebounds. The second-year player, on the other hand, was the usual force in the glass and grabbed 16 boards while also chipping with 10 points.
It wasn’t pretty and it was tougher than expected, but the Pistons got the job done. At this point of the season, that’s all that matters.