It took a clap of thunder to get the Pistons going during a 116-111 victory over the Bucks Monday night at The Palace.

That thunder came from small forward Josh Smith, who threw down a thunderous, teeth chattering, crowd pleasing and momentum shifting dunk and free throw with 3:53 remaining that gave the Pistons a 102-98 lead and turned Smith from OK player into a Zeus. That dunk electrified a small Palace crowd announced at 13,062 and turned Smith into Mr. Perfect. He could do no wrong after that three-point play.

“It was a momentum shift for us to be able to come out and play the way we are capable of playing,” Smith said.

After bringing down the thunder Smith hit three big jumpers, grabbed a rebound, turned up his defense and set the pace for the Pistons (27-47), who ended a three-game losing streak. Smith finished with 26 points, and three assists while shooting 11-for-19 from the floor.

But he was not a one man show. Greg Monroe led all scorers with a season-high 28 points and 14 rebounds. His putback with 4½ minutes left gave the Pistons the lead for good, 99-98. Until that point it was a monumental struggle against the NBA’s worst team.

“He (Smith) just started making shots,” Milwaukee coach Larry Drew said. “I thought we did a good job from a game strategy standpoint. We did what we were supposed to do. He just started making shots.”