Pistons snap seven-game losing skid


AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- One losing streak ended Sunday night
at the Palace, but one remains.

The Detroit Pistons snapped a seven-game skid with an 86-80 win
over the Miami Heat, who lost their sixth straight.

Jerry Stackhouse, who missed stretches of the second half
because of foul trouble, scored a game-high 24 points in 28

"We knew this was going to be a tough one, because both teams
needed it so badly," Stackhouse said. "They matched our
intensity, but we hit some shots early and got ahead, and that was
the difference."

The Heat fell to 3-10 in December and 5-23 overall. It was
Miami's first game since coach Pat Riley said he was committed to
his team despite speculation that he was ready to bail out of his
current situation.

"We don't have bad players. We're just playing bad
basketball," Riley said. "We start out almost every game playing
the way we should, but then we revert back to selfish play again.
It's like we lose our focus as the game goes on."

Corliss Williamson scored 14 points for Detroit, which improved
to 5-7 against teams with losing records.

"We really needed this," said Ben Wallace, who had seven
points, 15 rebounds and five blocks. "We had to get this streak
off our backs before it got any worse."

Brian Grant scored 22 points, and Alonzo Mourning added 18
points and 10 rebounds for Miami.

"It's really frustrating because this is a good team made up of
veterans who know how to win, and we've got a great coach," Grant
said. "But for some reason, it just isn't happening. It wouldn't
be so bad if this was one of those organizations where you expect
to lose, but the Heat's not like that."

The Heat pulled to within 75-70 on a pair of free throws by Jim
Jackson with 3:35 to go, but Chucky Atkins answered with a
3-pointer for Detroit.

After a driving lay-up by Miami's Rod Strickland, Stackhouse
made two free throws with 56 seconds left to put Detroit up 80-72.

Eddie Jones' 3-pointer with 13 seconds left made it 81-77, but
Stackhouse made a pair of free throws to make it 83-77. LaPhonso
Ellis hit a 3-pointer to pull the Heat within 83-80 with five
seconds remaining. Detroit's Michael Curry then made one of two
free throws.

The Heat, who failed to reach 100 points for the 28th
consecutive game, set the franchise record in a loss Friday to
Memphis. The NBA record is 29, shared by the 1997-98 Orlando Magic
and the 1999-00 Chicago Bulls.

The Pistons finished the third quarter on an 8-2 run and led
64-55 despite playing much of the quarter without Stackhouse, who
was out with foul trouble.

Detroit took a 63-53 lead on Williamson's dunk with less than
three minutes remaining in the third quarter. Williamson took a
behind-the-back pass from Jon Barry, took a couple of steps and
dunked it.

The Pistons led by as many as 12 points in the first half and
46-42 at halftime. They led 27-22 after the first quarter and
opened the second period on a 9-2 run.

Barry's three-point play at 8:53 gave Detroit its largest lead
of the half, 36-24. Barry was fouled by Kendall Gill while heaving
up a wild 21-footer.

Miami ended the half on a 7-2 run to pull to within four.

Game notes
The Pistons, who played their final game of 2001, next play
Wednesday at San Antonio. Miami plays at Indiana on New Year's Eve.
... Detroit rock star Kid Rock and his girlfriend, former
"Baywatch" star Pamela Anderson, attended the game. The pair, who
were seated behind the Miami bench, received an ovation when
spotlighted by television cameras between the first and second
periods. ... Pistons coach Rick Carlisle again started Atkins at
point guard in place of Dana Barros and Williamson at small forward
in place of Curry. Carlisle shook up the lineup Friday at Orlando,
but the Pistons lost 87-78.