Charlie Villanueva had to make amends, so with redemption on his mind the forward backed up to get a step behind the 3-point line and launched a line-drive jumper that nestled in the basket with 9.7 seconds left, breaking a 100-all game against his former team, the Milwaukee Bucks.
It's better shooting than throwing a turnover into the third row, as he'd done two possessions before, which almost ruined one of his best all-around games as a Piston.
"I just put it behind me. The intention was right, I was just a little off-target. Next play," Villanueva said. "I felt calm, no need to rush. I had plenty of time. Once it left my hand, I knew it would go in."
After Bucks guard Brandon Jennings foolishly tossed up a 3-pointer from nearly half court four seconds later, sensing he'd be fouled, the night belonged to Villanueva. His 18 points and 13 rebounds gave the Pistons a 105-100 win over the Bucks (25-24), their second straight in as many nights and an unexpected result after Andre Drummond's injury was thought to be a death knell to this team's morale.
"(Villanueva) didn't allow it to affect him," Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said. "He got the rebound on the next possession, then he made the three."
Villanueva had seven points and seven rebounds in the fourth quarter, including a spinning, twisting shot inside to tie the game at 98 with 1:13 left.
"Charlie was huge, great job on the glass," said Frank. (Villanueva has totaled 39 points and 21 rebounds in wins over the Bucks and Spurs.) "His ability to play both ends as he's done the last two games, because we all know what he can do offensively,"
Charlie Villanueva comes through in the clutch as Pistons edge Bucks
Detroit News | Feb 10