Marques Johnson scored seven of his 39 points in overtime, making the go-ahead basket with 1:43 left, as Milwaukee won at home.
Johnson's basket gave the Bucks a 120-118 lead. After Vinnie Johnson missed on Detroit's next possession, Junior Bridgeman scored for Milwaukee, then the Pistons' Isiah Thomas missed two foul shots with 33 seconds left. Marques Johnson made it 123-118 with a free throw with 21 seconds left.
Detroit's Bill Laimbeer and Milwaukee's Sidney Moncrief were ejected with 7:42 left in regulation when the 6-foot-4, 190-pound Moncrief decked the 6-11, 245-pound Laimbeer with an elbow to the ribs. Moncrief claimed that Laimbeer had been roughing him at the other end of the floor.
Vinnie Johnson forced the overtime when he took an inbounds pass from halfcourt with one second left and sank a three-point shot from the right of the key to tie the score at 108.
The Bucks, who had trailed, 97-91, with 5:18 left in regulation, rallied behind eight points by Marques Johnson in the last 4:38 and led, 107-103, when Dave Cowens sank two free throws with six seconds to go.
But Tom Owens scored for the Pistons with two seconds left, then the Pistons' Ricky Pierce fouled Junior Bridgeman with one second left. Bridgeman sank one free throw and missed the other, and the Pistons called time with one second left.