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Pistons stop Bucks in Central showdown

3/17/2002

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Jerry Stackhouse looked over at the Detroit
Pistons' bench in the final minutes and pumped his fist in victory.

Stackhouse had 25 points and seven assists as the Pistons took
over first place in the Central Division with a 102-94 victory over
the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night.

"I'm pretty sure they wanted it, but we did the things to show
that we wanted it more than they did," Stackhouse said after
Detroit snapped Milwaukee's three-game winning streak against them.

Chucky Atkins sparked Detroit with 14 of his 19 points in the
third quarter. Ben Wallace had 16 rebounds and six points but no
blocked shots for the Pistons, who rallied after the Bucks led
74-68 late in the third.

"This was a big game because of the things involved with the
division lead," Pistons coach Rich Carlisle said. "But we've
tried to stay away from looking at those sorts of things. We're
more the type of team where we're going to wait until the end to
tally them up."

It was Detroit's first victory over the Bucks this season
following two losses. The teams meet again at Detroit on the final
night of the season.

Both teams came in with identical 36-27 records.

Corliss Williamson had 17 points and Jon Barry added 14 for
Detroit.

Stackhouse hit two 3s and Atkins and Barry each added a
3-pointer during a 20-7 run stretching over the end of the third
and into the fourth that gave the Pistons an 88-81 lead with 6:41
left.

Ervin Johnson converted a three-point play for a 74-68 Bucks'
lead with 1:03 left in the third, but Atkins hit his 3-pointer and
Barry added another to tie the game and start the Pistons' rally.

"It was a well-played game until the fourth quarter," Bucks
coach George Karl said. "When they hit those two 3s to end the
third quarter, it gave them a lot of confidence and momentum. We
never recovered from that."

Ray Allen had 20 points, Anthony Mason and Glenn Robinson each
added 16 and Sam Cassell had 15, but it wasn't enough as Milwaukee
lost its fifth game in the last seven at home and 12 out of the
last 19 overall at the Bradley Center.

Allen, who was 1-for-11 from three-point range, tried to put a
positive spin on the loss, but then ended up hoping the Pistons
have the same trouble Milwaukee did against the West this season.

"They have to go out West and the West Coast wasn't good to us
or New Jersey," Allen said.

Detroit has a back-to-back on Monday and Tuesday at Denver and
Utah. They are 0-5 on the road against the Pacific Division and 1-9
in the West. Milwaukee is 1-6 on the road against the Pacific and
5-9 in the West.

Detroit played its third game in four nights.

"They really laid their hearts out on the floor in the second
half with a great defensive effort," Carlisle said.

Game notes
Over the last 29 games, the Pistons are 21-8 while the
Bucks are 14-15. ... Milwaukee's Joel Pryzbilla and Detroit's Ben
Wallace got double technicals for going chest-to-chest after an
offensive foul by Przybilla in the first quarter. ... The Bucks had
18 points in the paint to the Pistons' 2 in the first. ... The
Pistons activated center Zeljko Rebraca. He missed five games with
a broken bone around his right eye socket. He was injured March 5
when elbowed by Miami's Alonzo Mourning. Forward Brian Cardinal
went on the injured list for the third time this season because of
tendinitis in both knees. He's missed 41 games. ... Forwards Tim
Thomas (sprained right knee) and Jason Caffey (sore right ankle)
missed the game for Milwaukee.