Final / OT

Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 12/4

Game 1: Wednesday, December 4th
Game 2: Thursday, December 26th
Game 3: Friday, March 14th
Game 4: Tuesday, March 18th

Pistons 94

(42-24, 18-17 away)

Wizards 90

(32-35, 23-14 home)

    7:00 PM ET, March 18, 2003

    Verizon Center, Washington, DC

    1 2 3 4 OT T
    DET 15 22 20 27 1094
    WSH 22 17 22 23 690

    Top Performers

    Detroit: C. Billups 26 Pts, 5 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl

    Washington: J. Stackhouse 28 Pts, 3 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl

    Wallace: 20 boards in four straight games

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Ben Wallace blocked Michael Jordan's first and last shots. He made a flying out-of-bounds save on the first possession of overtime, and he ended the game by stealing an inbounds pass.


    And, by the way, he became the first player in five years to grab 20 rebounds in four straight games.

    Wallace finished with 20 rebounds and seven blocks, and Richard Hamilton hurt his former team's playoff prospects by scoring six of his 16 points in overtime as the Detroit Pistons beat the Washington Wizards 94-90 Tuesday night.

    "I've run out of adjectives to describe what he's doing right now,'' Detroit coach Rick Carlisle said. "When you play 50 minutes and get 20 rebounds and seven blocked shots, that's a man's man.''

    When you play 50 minutes and get 20 rebounds and seven blocked shots, that's a man's man.
    Pistons coach Rick Carlisle

    Chauncey Billups scored 26 points for the Pistons, who broke a six-game road losing streak. Reserve Corliss Williamson scored 12 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter, and Detroit's bench outscored Washington's 38-5.

    Jerry Stackhouse scored 28 points and Jordan had 23 for the Wizards, but both were silent in overtime until Stackhouse's runner in the dying seconds.

    The Wizards, who fell back into a tie with Milwaukee for eighth place in the Eastern Conference, now leave for a six-game West Coast trip that will likely decide their season. Washington is 9-21 on the road.

    "I'm glad it's here,'' guard Larry Hughes said. "If this is it, then everybody understands that. We've talked about it long enough.''

    Wallace appeared out of nowhere to stuff Jordan's layup from behind to start the game, and swatted the ball away when Jordan tried a spin move in traffic in the final minute of overtime with the Wizards trailing by three. Jordan complained that no foul was called.

    "I didn't think it was a foul, but that's Mike, he usually gets that call,'' Wallace said. "That just compliments us playing hard. Never concede anything -- making them make tough plays and making them make tough shots.

    "I got all of it. The ball ain't went nowhere toward the basket, so something got all of that.''

    Jordan also had two turnovers on bad passes in overtime, but he felt he should have been shooting free throws after Wallace's block.

    "I was just trying to make contact and get to the free-throw line,'' Jordan said. "They saw it as a block. But I'm not the referee. They didn't call it, and that's the way it goes.''

    In his last four games, Wallace has 21 rebounds against the Los Angeles Lakers, 24 against the Wizards, 21 against Boston and 20 against the Wizards again. The last player with four straight 20-rebound games was Dennis Rodman in the 1997-98 season.

    "It's kind of hard to expect 20 rebounds out of someone every night,'' Detroit center Clifford Robinson said. "But he does a really good job of making you expect it.''

    Hamilton, who shot just 4-of-12 in regulation, was 3-of-5 in the extra period, including three straight jumpers that gave the Pistons a four-point lead. He and Billups, who sealed the game with a high-arching layup in traffic with 13 seconds left, accounted for nine of 10 Detroit's overtime points.

    Hamilton was acquired last year in the trade that sent Stackhouse to the Wizards. Stackhouse's big stretch came in the fourth quarter, when he scored 10 straight Wizards points.

    Reserves Williamson, Jon Barry and Mehmet Okur accounted for all the points in a 15-2 run that put the Pistons ahead 73-66 midway through the fourth quarter, Detroit's first lead of the second half.

    The Wizards came back at the free-throw line. Stackhouse, who hadn't been to the line all game, made eight straight and gave his team the lead again, 80-79, on a fadeaway jumper with 3:16 to go.

    An exchange of baskets and free throws left the game tied at 84 in the final minute. Robinson missed a 20-footer, Wallace missed the tip, and Stackhouse missed a long fadeaway at the buzzer to send the game to overtime.

    Game notes

    Former North Carolina coach Dean Smith was at the game, a fitting appearance given that three ex-Tar Heels -- Jordan, Stackhouse and Brendan Haywood -- are starters for the Wizards. Smith visited Jordan in the locker room before the game. ... The Pistons activated guard Chucky Atkins, who had been on the injured list since March 4 with a bone bruise on his left knee. Guard Pepe Sanchez was placed on the injured list with tendinitis in his right knee. ... Detroit is 5-0 in overtime.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 94 90
    FGM-FGA 37-86 (.430) 37-89 (.416)
    3PM-3PA 8-19 (.421) 1-7 (.143)
    FTM-FTA 12-17 (.706) 15-17 (.882)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-45 13-47
    Assists 26 20
    Turnovers 13 10
    Steals 6 6
    Blocks 9 3
    Fast Break Points 1 3
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (1/0) 16 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Chauncey Billups Billups
    Points: 26
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Jerry Stackhouse Stackhouse
    Points: 28
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0