Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 11/4

Game 1: Sunday, November 4th
Game 2: Tuesday, January 29th
Game 3: Wednesday, February 20th
Game 4: Thursday, March 7th

Pistons 89

(22-20, 9-14 away)

Wizards 86

(21-21, 11-10 home)

    7:00 PM ET, January 29, 2002

    Verizon Center, Washington, DC

    1 2 3 4 T
    DET 22 27 27 1389
    WSH 26 23 19 1886

    Top Performers

    Detroit: J. Stackhouse 24 Pts, 6 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl

    Washington: M. Jordan 32 Pts, 5 Reb, 7 Ast, 2 Stl

    Pistons eke past Wizards in Washington

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- With the game on the line, Michael Jordan wanted the ball. Michael Curry wouldn't let him have it.

    Curry fought off picks and wrapped himself around Jordan as they jostled back and forth, denying point guard Chris Whitney any chance of a pass. With the clock running down and the Washington Wizards trailing by two, Whitney had to take the shot himself.

    He missed, and so did Hubert Davis with a follow-up jumper. Jordan never touched the ball, the Detroit Pistons got the rebound, made a free throw and won 89-86 on Tuesday night.

    "He denied me well," said Jordan, who scored 14 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter. "I never really could get open. No one really gave me a good screen, but we had two good looks."

    While Curry was the defensive hero, the big points at the other end were scored by Clifford Robinson, who made a 9-foot jump shot to tie it with 1:08 remaining and followed with the winning basket, a 19-footer over Popeye Jones with 18.8 seconds to play.

    A few seconds before his two big shots, Robinson crashed hard on the floor after falling for one of Jordan's fakes. Robinson needed a few seconds to recover, and coach Rick Carlisle left him. Jordan made the two free throws -- Washington's final points -- to give the Wizards an 86-84 lead.

    "I was hoping I didn't hurt anything bad enough," Robinson said. "And after sitting down there and letting the pain go away for a second, Rick drew up the play, and I had to be ready to make the shot."

    Added center Ben Wallace: "We might need to knock Clifford down more often."

    Jerry Stackhouse, disappointed he wasn't selected for the All-Star game earlier in the day, led the Pistons with 24 points, six rebounds and six assists, but he was 1-for-6 in the final quarter as the Wizards overcame a 12-point deficit. Robinson finished with 14 points, and Chucky Atkins had 20.

    Jordan was 13-for-30 from the field with seven assists, five rebounds and two turnovers and 42 minutes. He scored all but four of the Wizards' points in the final 12 minutes.

    Jones had a season-high 17 points, and Whitney scored 15.

    Jordan took the defeat particularly hard because the Pistons and Wizards entered with identical records, appearing set to battle each other for a playoff spot over the second half of the season. Of course, it's an indication of how far Washington has come that Jordan can even mention playoffs this time of year.

    "They've beat us twice already, and talking about a tiebreaker possibility, we could have evened it up with this game," Jordan said. "That hurts."

    The Pistons built a 76-64 lead late in the third, but the Wizards erased it with a 12-0 run that included Jordan's banked-in 18-foot running jump shot at the third-quarter buzzer. Jordan also made the first two baskets of the fourth, and his jumper tied it at 76 with 10:04 to play.

    Stackhouse tried to respond but missed his next four shots, the last of which was blocked by rookie Brendan Haywood. The game remained tight the rest of the way, with Robinson making the deciding shots -- and Curry playing the big defense on Jordan.

    "That was a big play," Stackhouse said. "All of us were fighting over who was going to guard him the last play. He won."

    Game notes
    Wizards coach Doug Collins said Richard Hamilton, the team's second leading scorer, might return Thursday after missing 17 games with a groin tear. ... The Wizards are the top 3-point shooting team in the league, but they made just 2-of-8 against Detroit. ... Despite their fourth-quarter comeback, the Wizards fell to 0-21 when trailing after three. ... Stackhouse on not getting chosen for the All-Star game: "I was disappointed. I would have liked to have had that opportunity. But I'm still happy about our situation. I would much rather be able to go to the playoffs and have a chance to shine in the playoffs than to be an All-Star like I was last year and be sitting at home watching the playoffs."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press