Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 12/12

Game 1: Friday, December 12th
Game 2: Sunday, March 7th

SuperSonics 93

(10-10, 5-5 away)

Pistons 72

(14-10, 7-4 home)

    8:00 PM ET, December 12, 2003

    The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

    1 2 3 4 T
    SEA 25 26 21 2193
    DET 15 22 17 1872

    Top Performers

    Seattle: R. Lewis 33 Pts, 7 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Detroit: B. Wallace 14 Pts, 11 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Blk

    Milicic hits hook shot in final minutes

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Coach Nate McMillan had some advice for Brent Barry and Rashard Lewis, telling them before the game to relax.

    They did, and it worked.

    Lewis scored 33 points and Barry had 18 while holding Richard Hamilton to 10, leading the Seattle SuperSonics to a 93-72 win over the slumping Detroit Pistons on Friday night.

    "Coach was trying to take some pressure off us -- he doesn't want us to think we have to do everything until Ray (Allen) gets back," Lewis said. "We are 10-10 now, and that's pretty good without Ray. It gives us a lot of hope for when he gets back."

    Seattle had lost four straight before meeting up with a Pistons team that hasn't scored 90 points since Nov. 28.

    "That team is struggling, and we wanted to take advantage of that," Barry said. "I think we took the wind out of their sails early on. We kept waiting for them to make a run at us, but it never really happened."

    Seattle also got 19 from Ronald Murray.

    "This was a great team effort tonight -- we finally got back to the basics," McMillan said. "Now we need to build on this."

    Detroit, which has lost four straight after a 14-6 start, got 14 points and 11 rebounds from Ben Wallace and 12 points from Chauncey Billups.

    "We're going to take tomorrow off, and then we have three days where we have to run it like another training camp," Pistons coach Larry Brown said. "The problems start with me. It's my responsibility to get us to play the right way."

    The lone Pistons bright spot was Darko Milicic's first NBA basket. The No. 2 choice in the draft entered the game with 3:40 to play and scored on a short hook shot with 2:08 left -- 10 games and 21 minutes into his career.

    "It's good, but we lost, so it's not as good," Milicic said. "I just like to play and help my team."

    Seattle led by as many by 24 down the stretch, and Detroit's point total matched the lowest for a home game in team history.

    "Obviously, we're just not playing with any confidence," Billups said. "The one thing that we've always hung our hats on is togetherness, and we don't have that right now."

    Wallace's layup with five seconds left in the first half pulled the Pistons within 12, but rookie Luke Ridnour drove the length of the court and passed to Vitaly Potapenko for a short jumper at the buzzer to put the Sonics up 51-37.

    The teams traded baskets for most of the third before Seattle finished the quarter with a 9-2 run to take a 72-54 lead. Seattle missed three times on its first possession of the fourth quarter but got all three rebounds before Lewis' jumper made it a 20-point game.

    By that point, the crowd was alternating boos with chants of "We want Darko." They got their wish, and erupted into the night's only loud cheer after Milicic hit his shot over Lewis and Vladimir Radmanovic.

    Game notes

    Kentucky coach Tubby Smith and several of his players attended the game, cheering for former Wildcat Tayshaun Prince. Kentucky plays Michigan State on Saturday at Ford Field in front of what is expected to be a record-sized crowd for a college basketball game. ... The Pistons had 14 offensive rebounds in the first half, including six by Wallace, while the Sonics only had 12 defensive rebounds. ... Detroit also scored 72 against the Knicks in 1992 and the Hawks in 1999.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 93 72
    FGM-FGA 35-70 (.500) 29-76 (.382)
    3PM-3PA 10-17 (.588) 0-8 (.000)
    FTM-FTA 13-20 (.650) 14-17 (.824)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-33 20-38
    Assists 21 16
    Turnovers 16 19
    Steals 11 4
    Blocks 5 8
    Fast Break Points 5 2
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (0/0) 19 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Rashard Lewis Lewis
    Points: 33
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1
    Ben Wallace Wallace
    Points: 14
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 2