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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.''

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.

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