Final

Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 11/12

Game 1: Tuesday, November 12th
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Pistons93
Game 2: Friday, January 10th
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OT
Hornets99
Game 3: Saturday, February 22nd
Hornets93Final
Pistons91
Game 4: Friday, April 11th
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Hornets93

Hornets 93

(31-27, 10-18 away)

Pistons 91

(37-18, 20-6 home)

    Coverage: COX

    7:30 PM ET, February 22, 2003

    The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

    1 2 3 4 T
    NO 15 25 25 2893
    DET 27 22 19 2391

    Top Performers

    NO: J. Mashburn 29 Pts, 5 Reb, 10 Ast

    Det: C. Billups 22 Pts, 5 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Mashburn hits winning shot second straight night

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Jamal Mashburn couldn't score 50 points for the second game in a row, but his effort Saturday night was enough for the New Orleans Hornets.

    Mashburn scored 29 points and hit a turnaround jumper with 0.2 seconds left to give the Hornets a 93-91 victory over the Detroit Pistons.

    "I've just broken basketball down to its simplest form,'' Mashburn said. "You create off the dribble, take open shots and just make plays. When you try to make things complicated, they usually don't work.''

    Mashburn took an inbounds pass, dribbled on the right wing to run down the clock, then hit a jumper over Chauncey Billups to give the Hornets their third win in a row.

    "I was taking that one all the way,'' he said. "David (Wesley) and I set it up just like we wanted it.''

    Cliff Robinson started the play guarding Mashburn, but Wesley's screen set up the final mismatch. At 6-foot-3, Billups is five inches shorter than Mashburn.

    "He's been on fire, and he just hit a tough shot,'' Billups said. "We did everything we could on the play -- I contested the shot and even had him leaning away from the basket -- and he still hit it.''

    Mashburn scored a franchise-record 50 points and hit the winning shot in a 125-123 overtime victory over Memphis on Friday night.

    "Jamal has just been sensational,'' New Orleans coach Paul Silas said. "I knew he was not giving that last shot up to anybody. He was going to take it. He'd been hitting big shots all night, and to come down and hit that one makes me proud of him.''

    Mashburn also had 10 assists and five rebounds, while Wesley added 27 points. Wesley had 35 against Memphis.

    "I don't think I have ever shot the ball this well in my career,'' Wesley said. "I've had stretches with higher percentages, but that was with a lot of layups and drives. This has almost all been from the perimeter.''

    Richard Hamilton led the Pistons with 23, while Billups added 22. Detroit has lost two straight after taking over first place in the Eastern Conference earlier in the week.

    "It is always tough to lose two in a row, especially with a tough trip out West this week,'' Billups said. "We've got to bounce back from this and play a good game Monday in Seattle.''

    The game was tied at 86 until Corliss Williamson put Detroit ahead with a short jumper with 1:12 left.

    Wesley answered with a 3-pointer, and after a block by Jamaal Magloire, Mashburn's baseline jumper put the Hornets up 91-88 with 33 seconds to go.

    Billups tied the game with a 3-pointer, and the Hornets called timeout to set up Mashburn's final shot.

    The Pistons led by as many as 14 in the first half, and held a 49-40 edge at halftime, but New Orleans scored the first eight points of the third to get back into the game.

    "We relaxed, and you can't do that in this league,'' Robinson said. "The ball stopped moving and we stopped doing the things that got us the lead in the first place. Once that happens, it is tough to beat a team like the Hornets.''

    The lead changed hands eight times in the quarter, but the Pistons scored the final four points to take a 68-65 lead into the fourth.

    Detroit opened the final quarter with an 8-2 run, building a 76-67 edge with 9:34 to go, but the Hornets came back to tie the game at 78 with 5:50 left.

    Two baskets by Hamilton and two free throws by Billups put Detroit up 84-80 with less than three minutes left, but they couldn't put the Hornets away.

    Game notes


    Ben Wallace appeared to be in significant pain after Magloire stepped on his right ankle in the opening moments of the first quarter, but stayed in the game. ... The game was sold out despite a snowstorm that hit the Detroit area Saturday afternoon. ... Pistons coach Rick Carlisle said before the game that Zeljko Rebraca, sidelined since early January with an irregular heartbeat, will not make the team's upcoming West Coast trip. ... Kenny Anderson made his Hornets debut, backing up Wesley. Anderson was acquired from Seattle for Elden Campbell on Thursday. ... Magloire and Williamson were each given technicals for a fourth-quarter shoving match.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    NO
    DET
    Points 93 91
    FGM-FGA 38-84 (.452) 34-69 (.493)
    3PM-3PA 4-7 (.571) 3-9 (.333)
    FTM-FTA 13-13 (1.000) 20-23 (.870)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-35 7-34
    Assists 19 20
    Turnovers 11 10
    Steals 4 4
    Blocks 1 7
    Fast Break Points 2 3
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (1/0) 19 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    New Orleans
    Detroit
    Jamal Mashburn Mashburn
    Points: 29
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 10
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Chauncey Billups Billups
    Points: 22
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1