Final

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 12/4

Game 1: Wednesday, December 4th
Wizards88Final
Pistons83
Game 2: Thursday, December 26th
Pistons87Final
Wizards82
Game 3: Friday, March 14th
Wizards80Final
Pistons90
Game 4: Tuesday, March 18th
Pistons94Final
OT
Wizards90

Pistons 87

(19-9, 8-7 away)

Wizards 82

(12-16, 8-6 home)

    7:30 PM ET, December 26, 2002

    Verizon Center, Washington, DC

    1 2 3 4 T
    DET 25 16 20 2687
    WSH 25 24 14 1982

    Top Performers

    Detroit: R. Hamilton 22 Pts, 7 Reb, 1 Ast

    Washington: J. Stackhouse 24 Pts, 3 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl

    Hamilton's 22 points, Pistons' defense stop Wizards

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- While Richard Hamilton enjoyed a triumphant return and the Detroit Pistons ended a two-game skid, the Washington Wizards stood around and watched it happen.

    Richard Hamilton

    It was a happy homecoming for Richard Hamilton, left, who scored 22 points in his return to the MCI Center.

    Hamilton scored 22 points, and the Pistons turned up the defense in the second half to beat the Wizards 87-82 Thursday night.

    Hamilton starred in Washington for two years before being sent to Detroit in the trade that brought Jerry Stackhouse to the Wizards. In his first game back, Hamilton scored 20 points in the first three quarters, then made two free throws with 2:10 left to cap a 12-2 spurt that put the Pistons up 81-73.

    ''This feels crazy being in this locker room. I've never even been in here before,'' Hamilton said of the visiting team's quarters at MCI Center. ''Coming down here was definitely hard, but I always said it would be great for the fans. They showed me love at the beginning of the game, and I just wanted to go out and put on a show.''

    Detroit rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit, holding the Wizards to just 33 points over the final 24 minutes.

    ''We got stagnant. When we don't move the ball, we stand,'' Washington coach Doug Collins said. ''When we do that, we can't win. I must have said it 30 times in the second half: Please move the ball!''

    The Wizards finished with as many assists as turnovers: 12.

    ''We went dead in the water, and when our team does that, I can't get them back,'' Collins said.

    Washington closed to 84-82 on two free throws by Michael Jordan with 25.3 seconds left, but Chauncey Billups made a foul shot for the Pistons and Jordan turned over the ball on the Wizards' next possession.

    Jon Barry then made two free throws to seal the victory.

    Stackhouse led the Wizards with 24 points and Jordan added 17, but he missed 10 of his 17 shots and had four turnovers -- three in the fourth quarter.

    When you look at the stats and look at how the game was played, we outplayed them in every area but turnovers, and I'm the biggest culprit. I had four turnovers, which is totally uncharacteristic of me. It's one of those games where you just want to hide your head under a pillow.
    Washington's Michael Jordan

    ''When you look at the stats and look at how the game was played, we outplayed them in every area but turnovers, and I'm the biggest culprit,'' Jordan said. ''I had four turnovers, which is totally uncharacteristic of me. It's one of those games where you just want to hide your head under a pillow.''

    Detroit trailed 67-64 with 9:11 remaining before Corliss Williamson scored on a follow and Chucky Atkins hit a 3-pointer. That gave the Pistons their first lead since early in the second quarter.

    A baseline jumper by Jordan put Washington back in front, but Clifford Robinson started the pivotal 12-2 run with a 15-footer, and Ben Wallace followed with two foul shots to give Detroit the lead for good.

    ''I thought our defense was solid the whole second half,'' Detroit coach Rick Carlisle said.

    Robinson finished with 16 points. Wallace had 13 rebounds and 11 points.

    After building a 49-41 halftime lead, the Wizards made only two baskets in the opening eight minutes of the third quarter. Washington scored only 14 points in the period (compared to 10 for Hamilton), but still led 63-61 entering the fourth quarter.

    That looked good for the Wizards, who came in 11-1 when leading after three quarters -- including 8-0 at home.

    This time, however, the lead didn't stand up.

    ''I can't really call it revenge,'' Hamilton said. ''I just say we're one-up on them.''

    Game notes


    Wizards rookie forward Jared Jeffries will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ligament in his right knee. He was averaging four points and 15 minutes. ... Wallace has led the Pistons in rebounding 28 times in 28 games. ... Detroit improved to 2-6 when trailing at halftime on the road. ... Washington's Larry Hughes had a season-high 12 rebounds.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    DET
    WSH
    Points 87 82
    FGM-FGA 29-73 (.397) 27-65 (.415)
    3PM-3PA 4-11 (.364) 3-11 (.273)
    FTM-FTA 25-31 (.806) 25-32 (.781)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-37 12-44
    Assists 15 12
    Turnovers 9 14
    Steals 5 3
    Blocks 1 5
    Fast Break Points 3 3
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (2/0) 24 (2/0)

    Top Performers

    Detroit
    Washington
    Richard Hamilton Hamilton
    Points: 22
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Jerry Stackhouse Stackhouse
    Points: 24
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0