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(Saturday, January 11th)
Final Score: Detroit 110, Phoenix 108
Auburn Hills, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - It was an up and down 30 seconds of emotions for Josh Smith.
Smith nailed a trey with 26.8 seconds left to break a tie, but on the next possession he fouled Gerald Green on a 3-point attempt, with Green connecting on all three from the stripe with 4.3 seconds to go.
Smith ended on high note though, as he drove to the rim with a defender draped all over him and managed to bank the shot in to go ahead for good with 1.2 left to play, as Detroit took a 110-108 win over Phoenix.
"The last time I had the opportunity in New York, I settled for a jump shot. I wanted to be aggressive. I learned from that play that I made. I wanted to put the onus on the officials and I was able to get a good look at it," Smith said.
Smith finished with 25 points and 11 rebounds and Greg Monroe totaled 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Pistons, who have won their past two. Andre Drummond added 13 points and 13 rebounds and Will Bynum chipped in 16 points. Brandon Jennings had 18 assists.
Channing Frye scored a team-high 21 points and P.J. Tucker and Marcus Morris scored 17 points apiece for Phoenix, which has lost three of its last four. Green and Goran Dragic contributed 15 points apiece for the visitors.
"If you just turn it on for 24 minutes you're not going to win a lot games. That is something we are going have to correct," said Suns coach Jeff Hornaceck.
Phoenix trailed the majority of the game, but refused to go away as the final 12 minutes began. Halfway through the fourth the Suns tied the game at 92 apiece after Frye capped off a 13-3 run with a trey.
Detroit rattled off seven straight and the teams traded baskets over the next two minutes before the Suns put eight straight through the twine to tie the game at 105 with 51.2 left following a Tucker 3-pointer.
Green came up short on a last chance effort for 3-point shot at the buzzer.
The Pistons opened the second half with an 8-3 spurt to continue to stretch their lead. Phoenix responded with a 9-2 run. At that point the score was 74-63 in favor of Detroit with 7:19 left in the third.
Through the last seven minutes the teams traded baskets and the Pistons were ahead 89-79 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Pistons began the first 3:40 of the game with a 12-3 run that was capped off by a Drummond dunk. Just over a minute later the Suns went on a 10-2 surge, however, Detroit finished the remainder of the first on a 16-4 tear.
Detroit led by as many as 16 points in the first half and held a 64-51 advantage at the break.
Jennings had 16 first half assists, tying Isiah Thomas for most first half assists by a Piston ... The Suns have lost three straight at The Palace of Auburn Hills ... Detroit went 3-for-17 from long distance, while the Suns shot 13-for-35 from behind the arc.
01/12 01:58:15 ET
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