Bucks hold off Pistons, 98-86

The Bucks used balanced scoring to climb back above the .500 mark on Tuesday night.

Jeff Hanisch/Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

MILWAUKEE — O.J. Mayo made the most of his first start in a year.

Mayo scored 17 points to help the Milwaukee Bucks to a 98-86 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night. He was 5 for 10 from the field and 4 for 4 at the line his first start since Dec. 14 at Dallas.

"I just go out there hoopin’ man," Mayo said. "You think of a pick-up game, you want to be among the first 10 guys to go out there and play."

Brandon Knight had 20 points and eight assists for Milwaukee (8-7), which avoided its first three-game slide of the season. Rookie Jabari Parker contributed 14 points and nine rebounds.

Detroit (3-11) has lost five in a row and eight of nine.

Andre Drummond had 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Pistons, and Greg Monroe added 15 points and eight boards. Drummond was averaging 8.7 points coming into the night, but shot 11 of 15 from the floor.

Detroit guard Brandon Jennings missed his first game of the season after he hyperextended his left thumb late in Friday’s 99-89 loss at Atlanta. Jennings, who spent his first four seasons with the Bucks, is averaging 16 points and 5.8 assists per game.

"We gave them 19 offensive rebounds, we had 19 turnovers and we were 7 of 17 at the free-throw line," Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy said. "They hit 10 3-pointers. Those were the four factors in the game. There’s really nothing else to talk about."

A basket by Zaza Pachulia gave Milwaukee its biggest lead at 87-73 with 5:46 left.

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Detroit closed to 88-80 on a layup by Monroe with 4:17 to go, but the rally fizzled from there.

Pachulia grabbed an offensive rebound and nailed a jumper, and after Drummond missed a layup, Knight followed with a 3-pointer to make it 93-80 with 3:11 left.

"We can’t lose three in a row," Parker said. "We didn’t want to lose two in a row."

Milwaukee put together a 12-1 run to open a 79-67 lead heading into the final period. The Bucks also closed out the first half with an 11-2 run.

"They scored one point," Milwaukee coach Jason Kidd said. "For us as a young group, those are positive things for us to look at and learn from. They’re showing us coaches they can do it."