Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 12/14

Game 1: Saturday, December 14th
Game 2: Monday, February 24th

SuperSonics 78

(13-11, 8-7 away)

Pistons 91

(15-7, 9-2 home)

    7:30 PM ET, December 14, 2002

    The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

    1 2 3 4 T
    SEA 20 24 18 1678
    DET 26 28 19 1891

    Top Performers

    Seattle: R. Lewis 20 Pts, 11 Reb, 3 Ast

    Detroit: R. Hamilton 25 Pts, 5 Reb, 4 Ast, 3 Stl

    Pistons hit high gear against Sonics

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- In a surprising reversal of roles, the defenders outran the sprinters.


    The Detroit Pistons scored 24 points on the fast break and held the Seattle SuperSonics to just eight in a 91-78 victory Saturday night.

    "We always look to run -- we just try to pick the right spots to do it,'' said Detroit coach Rick Carlisle. "We're never going to be the type of team that wants to get into windshield-wiper games.''

    Point guard Chauncey Billups, who scored 11 of his 13 points in the first quarter, agreed with his coach.

    "We've got the type of team that can get out there and go,'' he said. "We've got slashers and guys who can spot up for 3. We just don't always get into the right situation.''

    We've got the type of team that can get out there and go. We've got slashers and guys who can spot up for 3. We just don't always get into the right situation.
    Pistons guard Chauncey Billups

    The victory extended Detroit's winning streak to three games and dropped Seattle to 2-1 on its five-game road trip.

    Both teams were in the midst of playing four games in five nights. Seattle is now finished with its stretch, while the Pistons will be done after hosting New Jersey on Sunday.

    "I think we got a little gassed tonight with the back-to-backs,'' said Seattle's Brent Barry. "But these games are on the schedule, and we've got more of them, so we better find a way to gut our way through them.''

    Ben Wallace played 42 minutes for Detroit, including the first 23 minutes of the second half, but isn't concerned about running out of steam against the Nets.

    "You don't worry about tomorrow today, you worry about winning the game,'' he said. "We took care of business tonight and we'll have to play hard tomorrow against the Nets.''

    Richard Hamilton led Detroit with 25, while Corliss Williamson added 15 and Wallace pulled down 11 rebounds.

    "We know Rip is going to score, so we need to find guys every night to score points as well,'' said Clifford Robinson. "Some nights it will be me, some nights it will be Corliss or Chauncey or someone else. I told Chauncey not to worry about being selfish -- he just needs to keep being aggressive with the ball.''

    Detroit's bench, led by Williamson and 11 points from Jon Barry, outscored the Seattle reserves 38-17.

    "That bench is tough for any team to handle,'' said Seattle coach Nate McMillan. "They don't lose a thing offensively when they go to the bench, because Chucky Atkins and Jon Barry might be their two best 3-point shooters and Corliss Williamson is probably their best low-post player.''

    Gary Payton led Seattle with 24 points and Rashard Lewis added 20.

    Brent Barry and Predrag Drobnjak hit 3-pointers to start the second half, pulling the Sonics within four, and they eventually cut it to 60-59.

    Detroit, though, answered with a 12-0 run that included nine points from Hamilton.

    "We had some serious breakdowns there,'' Brent Barry said. "We weren't doing anything to stop what they were doing to us.''

    Hamilton finished with 13 points in the quarter, and the Pistons led 73-62 at period's end. Seattle never got back within single digits in the fourth.

    "Obviously, Rip was tremendous for us when we needed him in the third quarter,'' Carlisle said. "Then Corliss stepped up in the fourth. We basically ran everything through him, and he came through.''

    The Pistons used six first-half 3-pointers, including three from Billups, to build a 17-point lead late in the second quarter. Seattle finished the half with an 8-2 run and pulled to 54-44 at intermission.

    Game notes

    Pistons center Zeljko Rebraca picked up a technical foul for arguing a second-quarter jump ball. ... The Pistons have won six straight home games against Seattle. ... Wallace got the biggest cheer of the night when he swatted one of Payton's shots into the Pistons bench. ... Jon Barry won the game and the family battle, outscoring brother Brent 11-9.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 78 91
    FGM-FGA 30-77 (.390) 36-76 (.474)
    3PM-3PA 5-16 (.313) 8-23 (.348)
    FTM-FTA 13-22 (.591) 11-15 (.733)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-39 10-36
    Assists 16 21
    Turnovers 15 10
    Steals 4 5
    Blocks 1 10
    Fast Break Points 4 10
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (0/0) 18 (2/0)

    Top Performers

    Rashard Lewis Lewis
    Points: 20
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Richard Hamilton Hamilton
    Points: 25
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0