Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/20

Game 1: Wednesday, November 20th
Game 2: Friday, November 22nd
Game 3: Tuesday, January 14th
Game 4: Monday, February 17th

Heat 62

(18-35, 7-20 away)

Pistons 93

(36-16, 20-5 home)

    7:30 PM ET, February 17, 2003

    The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIA 14 18 15 1562
    DET 26 19 31 1793

    Top Performers

    Mia: C. Butler 13 Pts, 4 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl

    Det: R. Hamilton 34 Pts, 4 Reb, 3 Ast

    Pistons hold Miami to its lowest total of season

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Miami Heat coach Pat Riley knew he would have a matchup problem Monday night.

    Richard Hamitlon

    He just didn't realize how bad it was going to be.

    Playing against much smaller players like Travis Best and Eddie House, Detroit guard Richard Hamilton scored a season-high 34 points as the Pistons routed the Heat 93-62.

    "We were just totally overmatched at that position,'' Riley said of the 6-foot-7 Hamilton. "We're too short to play against him -- he just went over the top on us all night long.''

    Hamilton, who scored 16 points as Detroit blew the game open in the third quarter, is averaging 28.5 points in Detroit's last four games.

    "Things are just getting better and better since the break,'' Hamilton said. "The guys are getting me the ball for open shots, and I've been able to knock them down. I think a lot of it has to do with finally getting in a rhythm. We had a lot of new guys this year, and even when the defense was there, it took a while for the offense to get comfortable.''

    Detroit has now won eight of nine, while the Heat have dropped three of four.

    "We've got a lot of guys playing hard and playing well,'' Pistons coach Rick Carlisle said. "Ben Wallace was enormous on the glass again with 19 rebounds and Rip got on a roll unlike any I have seen in quite some time.''

    Miami was without leading scorer Eddie Jones, who missed his third straight game with a strained groin, and finished with its lowest point total of the season.

    Cliff Robinson added 15 points for Detroit, while Michael Curry matched a season-high with 11.

    Caron Butler led Miami with 13 points and Rasual Butler added 10. Miami shot just 33.3 percent and was outrebounded 51-36.

    "This was a really embarrassing performance,'' Riley said. "We were absolutely not competitive.''

    Detroit took advantage of the slumping Heat right from the start, jumping out to a 26-14 lead in the first quarter. Robinson had eight points in the period, while Wallace had eight rebounds.

    Miami stayed relatively close throughout the second, but still trailed 45-32 at halftime.

    Hamilton scored 10 points in the first six minutes of the second half, helping Detroit increase its lead to 59-40.

    Hamilton finished the period with 16 points as the Pistons built a comfortable 76-47 lead. Wallace had 10 rebounds in the quarter.

    "That's how we need to handle teams,'' Wallace said. "We can't let teams get back into games when we have them down -- we have to keep playing hard and put them away. It is good to see us doing that lately.''

    The Pistons led by as many as 36 in the fourth while handing Miami its worst loss of the season.

    "We've been known for our pride and hard work, but we didn't have any of that tonight,'' Brian Grant said. "Detroit plays basketball the way we are supposed to be playing it -- no tricks, no gimmicks, just straight-up basketball. As a captain of this team, it is my job to make sure we never do this again.''

    Game notes

    Robinson, who only scored two points Sunday in Cleveland, had six in the first five minutes Monday. ... Riley picked up a first-quarter technical for arguing a call, and House got one in the final minute for the same reason. ... Detroit won the season series 3-1 and has beaten the Heat in four of the last five meetings. ... Both teams were in stretches of four games in five nights. Detroit finished its run with three wins, while Miami is 1-2 heading into Tuesday's game in New Jersey. ... Wallace had nine defensive rebounds in the third quarter, one short of his own team record.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 62 93
    FGM-FGA 25-75 (.333) 32-72 (.444)
    3PM-3PA 0-5 (.000) 7-21 (.333)
    FTM-FTA 12-17 (.706) 22-26 (.846)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-36 11-51
    Assists 11 19
    Turnovers 10 15
    Steals 7 1
    Blocks 4 7
    Fast Break Points 2 5
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 28 (2/0) 22 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Caron Butler Butler
    Points: 13
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Richard Hamilton Hamilton
    Points: 34
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0