Final / OT

Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 12/12

Game 1: Thursday, December 12th
Game 2: Tuesday, February 11th
Game 3: Sunday, March 23rd
Game 4: Wednesday, April 9th

Bulls 102

(28-51, 3-37 away)

Pistons 111

(48-30, 29-11 home)

Coverage: WCIU

7:30 PM ET, April 9, 2003

The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

1 2 3 4 OT T
CHI 25 22 20 28 7102
DET 31 22 26 16 16111

Top Performers

Chicago: J. Crawford 26 Pts, 6 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

Detroit: C. Billups 29 Pts, 5 Reb, 6 Ast, 2 Stl

Pistons relieved to stop four-game skid

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- The Detroit Pistons didn't care how ugly they looked in beating the Chicago Bulls.

They only cared about picking up one of their most important victories of the season.

Chauncey Billups scored 12 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter and overtime to help the slumping Pistons end a four-game losing streak with a 111-102 victory Wednesday night.

The win moved Detroit into a tie with New Jersey atop the Eastern Conference standings after the Nets lost to Atlanta.

"We are in a situation where we just need wins -- period,'' Billups said. "We got one tonight and now we need to go to New Orleans and get one down there.

"Nothing else matters right now. We just need wins.''

Billups' big finish came after Jamal Crawford burned him for 15 points in the first half.

"He got going on me a little bit, so I knew I needed to step it up and get more aggressive offensively,'' Billups said. "He's a tough guy to guard -- he's very slippery.''

The Pistons blew a 12-point fourth-quarter lead and let Chicago force overtime, but scored the first six points of the extra period.

"This is a good win for us, because we needed it to stay in contention for the top spot in the East,'' Cliff Robinson said. "We fought off their surge and we made some plays. Now we have to build on this.''

Chicago lost its 10th straight on the road and is 3-37 away from the United Center.

"We play so many close games on the road, and we can never finish them,'' Crawford said. "We've got one of the best home records in the East -- we can beat anyone at home. If we could have just won 10 or 15 road games, we'd be in the playoffs.''

Detroit played without Ben Wallace, who missed his second game in a row after injuring his knee Sunday. Chicago was missing Tyson Chandler, who left Tuesday's game against Indiana with esophagitis and did not travel to Detroit.

Robinson scored 24 points for Detroit, while Mehmet Okur had 19 and Richard Hamilton 17. Hamilton also matched a career high with nine assists.

Crawford led the Bulls with 26 points, while Jalen Rose added 24 and Eddy Curry 20.

"We gave ourselves a chance at the game, but we just didn't do the job in overtime,'' Bulls coach Bill Cartwright said. "We rehearse those situations every day, but we just don't seem prepared when we get late into games.''

The Pistons led 53-47 at the half behind 14 points from Okur.

The teams traded baskets for the first half of the third period, but the Pistons took a 72-59 lead with an 11-3 run late in the period. Billups had nine of the points on three 3-pointers.

Detroit led 79-67 at period's end, but Chicago started the fourth quarter with a 10-2 surge capped by Curry's three dunks. Robinson ended the streak with a 3-pointer, but Rose hit a 3 and Curry added a three-point play to tie the game at 83 with 6:27 left.

The teams traded the lead until Rose's free throw tied the game at 95 with 1:14 left. Billups and Jon Barry missed for Detroit, but the Bulls turned over the ball to give the Pistons a chance to win at the buzzer.

Billups missed a short jumper, and Rose a 3-point attempt at the buzzer.

"I had a great look at the shot, but it just didn't go down,'' Rose said. "That would have been too much of a dream ending if I had hit that shot. It hasn't been the kind of season for those endings.''

Game notes
Pistons guard Chucky Atkins returned after missing 17 of the previous 19 games with a bruised knee. He scored three points in 11 minutes. ... The Bulls scored five points in the final 1.5 seconds of the first quarter, cutting an 11-point deficit to six. After Crawford's layup, Detroit threw away the inbounds pass and Jay Williams hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer. ... The Pistons are 18-2 against the Bulls since Michael Jordan left Chicago. ... The Pistons are 7-0 in overtime, while the Bulls are 1-8. ... Wallace said after the game that he doesn't know when he will be able to return. The Pistons are hoping to have him back in time for the playoffs.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 102 111
FGM-FGA 41-85 (.482) 32-75 (.427)
3PM-3PA 4-12 (.333) 8-28 (.286)
FTM-FTA 16-23 (.696) 39-47 (.830)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-44 9-40
Assists 18 22
Turnovers 18 14
Steals 5 10
Blocks 5 3
Fast Break Points 7 2
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 37 (0/0) 19 (0/0)

Top Performers

Jamal Crawford Crawford
Points: 26
Reb: 6
Ast: 6
Stl: 1
Blk: 1
Chauncey Billups Billups
Points: 29
Reb: 5
Ast: 6
Stl: 2
Blk: 0