MILWAUKEE -- A dispirited group of Milwaukee Bucks opened a three-game home stand on a sour note Saturday night.
Charlie Villanueva's straight-on three-pointer with 9.7 seconds left broke a tie and lifted the Detroit Pistons to a 105-100 victory at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
But the Bucks' team chemistry definitely was out of whack as Milwaukee (25-24) lost its third in a row and for the fifth time in the last six games.
Suddenly all those good vibes from a few weeks ago, when interim coach Jim Boylan replaced Scott Skiles, are fading fast. The Bucks got off to an 8-3 start under Boylan but the loss to the Pistons dropped them to 9-8 since he took charge.
Brandon Jennings finished with a game-high 26 points but needed 27 shots to do it, while backcourt mate Monta Ellis took just nine shots in 38 minutes. Ellis finished with eight points and three turnovers.
Asked about the shot discrepancy, Boylan said, "I don't know. You'd have to ask Monta that."
Pressed on what he wanted to see out of Ellis, Boylan said, "I want him to play his game. Whatever his game is, I want him to play it."
The Bucks were able to build a 10-point lead in the third quarter but could not press their advantage.
Three-pointers by Jose Calderon, Rodney Stuckey and Villanueva helped the Pistons close the gap quickly and they trailed, 82-81, entering the final quarter.
The Bucks led for the last time at 100-98 on a 17-foot fade-away by Jennings with 47.7 seconds left.
That came after Villanueva threw the ball out of bounds.
But Calderon scored on a drive and after Jennings missed a jumper, Villanueva drilled his clutch three-pointer over Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova to make it 103-100.
"You'll have to go back to the archives," Villanueva said of hitting other game-winners in his career. "As a Piston, definitely no. Especially playing against my old team.
"Good place for it to happen."
Villanueva played three seasons for the Bucks -- from 2006-'09 -- after being acquired in a trade with Toronto in exchange for T.J. Ford in the summer of '06.
Newly acquired point guard Calderon paced the Pistons (20-32) with 23 points and 10 assists. Stuckey added 19 points off the bench and Villanueva added 18 points and 13 rebounds.
The Bucks have two home games remaining before the all-star break, against Washington on Monday and Philadelphia on Wednesday.
But something is amiss.
"I don't think I'm reaching when I say we're obviously not on the same page right now," Mike Dunleavy said. "We're in a funk. We've had a tendency to do that all year, go up and down in waves.
"Hopefully we can snap out of it. Everybody's got their own little issues. This January-early February period, guys tend to get bored and find it mundane. It seems to be where we're at."
Jennings thought he was fouled on a 40-foot shot in the final seconds when Detroit coach Lawrence Frank was calling for his team to foul. Jennings said he got raked on the arm by Pistons guard Will Bynum.
But nothing was called and Stuckey secured the Pistons' victory with two free throws with 1.6 seconds left.
"I think teams are just playing harder than us," Jennings said of the recent funk. "We're not competing to their type of level.
"It's just going to take a team effort. From here on out I'm going to be aggressive. If I've got to take 20, 30 shots to win the game then that's what I'm going to do right now."
Asked about Ellis, Jennings said, "He played good defensively, as far as trying to keep Calderon under control. He had a big block. He was playing perfectly defensively to me.
"He probably just didn't have his offensive rhythm tonight but that happens."
Ilyasova had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Bucks and center Samuel Dalembert, starting in place of the injured Larry Sanders, added 14 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks.
Greg Monroe contributed 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Pistons, who beat the Bucks for the third time in four games this season. And they completed a successful back-to-back after ending San Antonio's 11-game winning streak Friday night.
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