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Stackhouse throws homecoming party with 21 points

12/6/2002

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Jerry Stackhouse enjoyed his homecoming, thanks to a little help from Michael Jordan.

In Stackhouse's first regular-season appearance at the Palace since being traded by the Pistons, he and Jordan each scored eight points in the final period and finished with 21 in Washington's 88-83 victory.

"It is great to be able to come here and beat the team that
traded me -- that's a great message,'' Stackhouse said. "There are
no hard feelings -- I still have a lot of love for the people in this organization, but tonight I came back to bite them a little bit.''

Stackhouse was traded to the Wizards in September for Richard Hamilton.

"This is still home, no doubt about it,'' he said. "We play some more games here, and hopefully I'll be able to experience this a lot more times.''

Chucky Atkins led Detroit with 17 and Cliff Robinson and Hamilton had 16 each.

"I'm disappointed, because I really wanted to win this one,'' Hamilton said. "My adrenalin was really pumping out there.''

The game was tied at 81 with 1:30 to play when Jordan rebounded a miss by Larry Hughes and was fouled by Robinson. He hit both free throws.

The Pistons were a little surprised when Jordan got the call.

"He got the offensive rebound and he came around the corner and it looked like he just lost the ball,'' Jon Barry said. "They said someone grabbed him.''

After Ben Wallace missed at the other end, Stackhouse made one
of two from the line to make it 84-81 with 54 seconds left.

Stackhouse fouled Hamilton, who made one of two free throws. Jordan lost the ball out of bounds under pressure from Atkins, and Brendan Haywood fouled Robinson at the other end. Robinson missed the second of two free throws, leaving Detroit down 84-83 with 16.5 seconds left.

Robinson then fouled Jordan, who made both shots to give the
Wizards a three-point edge. Atkins missed a long 3-pointer, and
Stackhouse put the game away with two free throws.

"I know this was heavy on Jerry's mind,'' Jordan said. "Every time I go to Chicago, I want to play well in front of those fans. I can imagine he feels the same way. We had to grind this one out, and we did that by making our free throws down the stretch. We had a lot of them.''

In all, the Wizards took 34 free throws to Detroit's 14. Jordan had 16 attempts.

"You can get frustrated by that, and you can say something that will get you fined,'' Corliss Williamson said. "But that's how it goes in this game sometimes. You just have to overcome it and play your game.''

Detroit led 45-39 at the half thanks to Robinson's 30-foot
3-pointer at the buzzer. Jordan led all scorers with 12 in the
half, while Robinson had 10.

The Pistons' margin was down to 63-61 at the end of the third,
and Detroit maintained the narrow edge in the fourth as Atkins
scored Detroit's first six points in the period.

Washington, though, went on an 11-2 run to take a 78-75 lead
with four minutes left. Stackhouse scored five of the points,
including the tie-breaking 3-pointer.

"I was very pleased with the way Jerry stepped up,'' said
Wizards coach Doug Collins, who coached Stackhouse in Detroit as
well. "I know what this meant to him, and I know how popular he
still is in this community.''

Game notes
The Pistons hit five 3-pointers in the final four minutes of the first half. ... Stackhouse picked up a flagrant foul in the
first quarter for elbowing Hamilton in the chest. ... Stackhouse
also played at the Palace in an exhibition game in October. ... The
Pistons didn't get an offensive rebound until the third quarter.
... Detroit had been 9-0 when leading or tied after three quarters,
while the Wizards were 0-9 when trailing after three.