Bledsoe lifts Suns past Pistons

Phoenix Suns guard Gerald Green makes a basket while defended by Detroit Pistons forwards Jonas Jerebko (33), Kyle Singler (25) and Greg Monroe (10) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Auburn Hills, Mich., Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014.

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Eric Bledsoe scored 18 points, including the winning basket with 28.7 seconds to play, to lift the Phoenix Suns past the Detroit Pistons 88-86 Wednesday night.

P.J. Tucker added 16 points for the Suns, who have won four of their last six.

Brandon Jennings scored 19 points to lead Detroit, losers of three straight and six of seven.

With the Pistons down 85-83 and 40 seconds left, Jennings missed a jumper, but Jonas Jerebko grabbed the rebound and fed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope for the go-ahead 3-pointer.

Bledsoe’s driving layup gave Phoenix an 87-86 lead with 28.7 seconds to go. Jerebko tried to drive, but the Suns knocked the ball out of bounds with 11.7 seconds left.

Jennings had his shot blocked and Caldwell-Pope missed a 3-pointer before Bledsoe made 1 of 2 from the line with 1.3 seconds left. Jennings then missed a 3, allowing the Suns to hang on.

The game was played on the 10th anniversary of Pacers-Pistons brawl at the Palace of Auburn Hills that was started when Ron Artest went into the crowd after being hit by a thrown beer. The closest thing to a repeat came in the second quarter, when Markieff Morris and Caldwell-Pope exchanged shoves.

Phoenix dictated the tempo in the first half, forcing the Pistons to play outside their comfort zone, but weren’t able to take advantage. The Suns outshot Detroit in the half, but couldn’t keep them off the boards at either end. Detroit used its nine offensive rebounds to trail just 44-43 at the intermission.

The Suns frustrated the Pistons in the third quarter — Greg Monroe and Jennings picked up technicals for arguing the same call — and led by as many as nine, but couldn’t finish them off. Jennings finished with 13 in the quarter, and the Suns still only led by one heading to the fourth.

With Jennings on the bench, Phoenix moved the lead back to seven. Jennings and Caldwell-Pope hit back-to-back 3s to pull the Pistons to 85-83 with 1:09 left.

TIP INS

Suns: Phoenix struggled to keep post players in the game, as both Miles Plumlee and Alex Len had five fouls in the fourth quarter, while Markieff Morris had four.

Pistons: Tayshaun Prince, now with Memphis, is the only player who played for the Pistons in the Artest game that is still in the league. He was also the only player on either team who didn’t leave the bench during the initial confrontation between Artest and the Pistons’ Ben Wallace.

UP NEXT

Phoenix: At Philadelphia on Friday.

Detroit: At Atlanta on Friday.

 

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