Michael Redd scored 40 points and T.J. Ford had a career-high 15 assists to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to their first home playoff victory over the Detroit Pistons in 30 years, 124-104, last night.
Milwaukee set a season high for points by an opponent against the Pistons, who still lead the Eastern Conference series 2-1. Game 4 is tomorrow night in Milwaukee.
The young Bucks needed a win in a postseason game after having just three victories over the last five years and being blown out in the first two games in Detroit.
Redd set a playoff career high for points, 3 off his overall career high, and Ford finally found his rhythm at the point, adding 7 points and seven rebounds. Mo Williams added 20 points, Jamaal Magloire had 12 and Bobby Simmons and Toni Kukoc 10 each for the Bucks.
Chauncey Billups led six players in double figures for Detroit with 26 points, while Rasheed Wallace added 18.
But Detroit's frustration boiled over as Milwaukee finally accomplished its goals coming into the series by moving the ball, forcing the Pistons to run and using its deep bench to bury the NBA's best team in the regular season.
The Bucks' third quarter made the fourth a formality outside of an elbow by Richard Hamilton that resulted in a flagrant foul.
Detroit, which shot 49 percent, trailed by as many 26 and Pistons coach Flip Saunders emptied his bench with 3:13 to play.
Milwaukee shot a blistering 60 percent from the field, including 66 percent in the third quarter. Most of that was Ford finding Redd, who finished 14 of 21 from the field and 4 of 5 from 3-point range.
Redd scored 15 points in the third quarter and 8 in just over a minute, first hitting a 3-pointer off a pass from Ford.
Hamilton also got a technical foul for arguing during the spurt, and Redd made it 86-62 on the ensuing free throws and a jumper off a dish by Ford, one of 34 assists by the Bucks after having 30 total in the first two games.
Nets 97, Pacers 88 --Jason Kidd returned to being dominant, and helped the New Jersey Nets even their first-round series with the Indiana Pacers.
Kidd, who acknowledged he had been outplayed by Indiana's Anthony Johnson the first three games of the Eastern Conference series, had a strong all-around game with 10 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals to lead the Nets to a 97-88 victory in Game 4 last night in Indianapolis.
New Jersey coach Lawrence Frank said though Johnson has played well, he likes his point guard.
''Jason's been great," he said. ''Jason's value has nothing to do with the box score. Jason, you feel his presence. Jason imposes his will on the game, and that's what he did today. Give me Jason Kidd any day of the week."
The Pacers finished with 23 turnovers which led to 23 New Jersey points. Johnson, who had 12 points, 4 assists, and 6 turnovers, said he became overzealous while trying to help the Pacers come back from a double-digit deficit.
Vince Carter scored 28 points, Richard Jefferson had 22, and Nenad Krstic 21. Game 5 is Tuesday night in East Rutherford, N.J.
Indiana's Jermaine O'Neal scored 22 points before fouling out with 1:21 left. He had dunked on the previous play to cut New Jersey's lead to 93-88, but got caught on Jefferson's drive to the basket.
Mavericks 94, Grizzlies 89 -- Dirk Nowitzki scored 36 points, including a 3-pointer to send the game into overtime and 6 points in the extra period, as visiting Dallas took a 3-0 lead over Memphis in their first-round series.
The Grizzlies, who have never won a playoff game, slowed the Dallas offense that had overpowered them in first two games and held off the Mavericks until late in regulation. However, Nowitzki and the Mavericks were simply too much.
Dallas outscored Memphis, 18-13, in overtime, led by Nowitzki and Jason Terry, who had 5 points in the extra period to finish with 22. Game 4 is tomorrow night in Memphis. Pau Gasol, the Grizzlies' scoring leader who has struggled against the Mavericks, scored 16 points -- 2 in overtime.
Chucky Atkins had 20 points to lead Memphis, but missed the Grizzlies' final shot in regulation on an attempted layup. The Grizzlies dropped to 0-11 in the playoffs, the longest losing streak of any playoff team before a first postseason victory. They also tied the NBA record for consecutive playoff losses set by Denver in 1994.
Josh Howard had 16 points Jerry Stackhouse added 10 for Dallas.
Clippers 100, Nuggets 86 -- Forget Los Angeles's lousy playoff history. The new Clippers look like seasoned and determined playoff veterans.
The Clippers ended a 13-year road playoff drought and moved within a victory of the franchise's first series win in 30 years by beating host Denver.
Corey Maggette finished with 19 points and Elton Brand had 11 points and 10 rebounds to lead Los Angeles. The Clippers shot 62 percent in the first half and matched the offense with stifling defense in the second as the Nuggets continued to struggle from the floor.