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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- DETROIT 23 20 25 28 96 INDIANA 24 16 20 17 77 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: DET - CORLISS WILLIAMSON 23, CHUCKY ATKINS 18, CLIFF ROBINSON 13 IND - BRAD MILLER 18, REGGIE MILLER 16, RON MERCER 15

HIGH REBOUND: DET - BEN WALLACE 14, THREE PLAYERS WITH 4 IND - BRAD MILLER 15, RON ARTEST 8, JERMAINE O'NEAL 7

HIGH ASSISTS: DET - JERRY STACKHOUSE 6, JON BARRY 5, CLIFF ROBINSON 4 IND - REGGIE MILLER 6, KEVIN OLLIE 6, JAMAAL TINSLEY 6

ATT: 16,127


Extended Box

DETROIT (96) AT INDIANA (77)

DETROIT

REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

M CURRY F 31 2-4 0-0 0 0 0 1 2 3 0 5 B WALLACE F 35 2-4 2-4 4 10 14 1 4 5 1 6 C ROBINSON C 37 5-15 2-3 1 3 4 4 2 0 0 13 J STACKHOUSE G 29 4-16 2-4 1 2 3 6 2 1 1 12 C ATKINS G 27 6-10 3-3 1 1 2 2 3 0 1 18 Z REBRACA 13 2-5 2-3 0 4 4 1 1 0 0 6 C WILLIAMSON 21 9-13 5-6 1 0 1 0 3 0 3 23 J BARRY 23 4-5 0-0 0 4 4 5 0 2 1 10 D JONES 21 0-1 2-2 2 1 3 1 0 2 2 2 R WHITE 1 0-0 1-2 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 V ALEXANDER 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 M MOORE 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

TOTALS 240 34-73 19-27 10 26 36 21 17 13 10 96 (.466) (.704) TEAM REBS: 9 TOTAL TO: 11 (6 PTS)

INDIANA

REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

R ARTEST F 32 4-15 3-4 1 7 8 0 5 4 2 11 J O'NEAL F 39 5-14 1-3 2 5 7 1 6 0 1 11 B MILLER C 35 8-14 2-3 8 7 15 1 5 0 4 18 R MILLER G 44 5-10 5-5 0 4 4 6 2 0 3 16 J TINSLEY G 25 2-7 0-0 2 1 3 6 2 0 6 5 R MERCER 24 7-12 0-0 0 2 2 0 3 1 2 15 J FOSTER 12 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 0 1 1 1 0 J BENDER 8 0-2 1-2 0 1 1 1 3 0 1 1 A CROSHERE 3 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 K OLLIE 18 0-1 0-0 0 3 3 6 2 0 0 0 B SUNDOV DNP - COACH'S DECISION P BREZEC DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 31-77 12-17 14 31 45 21 29 6 20 77 (.403) (.706) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 21 (17 PTS)

DETROIT 23 20 25 28 - 96 INDIANA 24 16 20 17 - 77

BLOCKED SHOTS: DETROIT - B WALLACE 4, C ROBINSON 2, Z REBRACA. INDIANA - J O'NEAL 3, J BENDER, J FOSTER. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: DETROIT 9-17 (.529), M CURRY 1-3, C ROBINSON 1- 4, J STACKHOUSE 2-3, C ATKINS 3-4, J BARRY 2-2, D JONES 0-1. INDIANA 3- 14 (.214), R ARTEST 0-6, R MILLER 1-2, J TINSLEY 1-4, R MERCER 1-1, J BENDER 0-1. TECHNICAL FOULS: DETROIT - C WILLIAMSON 2 (EJECTED). INDIANA - DEFENSIVE THREE, B MILLER. FLAGRANT FOULS: INDIANA 1 (J O'NEAL, 1:16 4TH). OFFICIALS: DEE KANTNER, JOE FORTE, TIM DONAGHY. A - 16,127. T - 2:12.


Box Score

DETROIT (96)

fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp M Curry 31 2-4 0-0 0-0 1 2 5 B Wallace 35 2-4 2-4 4-14 1 4 6 C Robinson 37 5-15 2-3 1-4 4 2 13 J Stackhouse 29 4-16 2-4 1-3 6 2 12 C Atkins 27 6-10 3-3 1-2 2 3 18 Z Rebraca 13 2-5 2-3 0-4 1 1 6 C Williamson 21 9-13 5-6 1-1 0 3 23 J Barry 23 4-5 0-0 0-4 5 0 10 D Jones 21 0-1 2-2 2-3 1 0 2 R White 1 0-0 1-2 0-1 0 0 1 V Alexander 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 M Moore 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

_____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 34-73 19-27 10-36 21 17 96 _____________________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.466, FT-.704. 3-Point Goals: 9-17, .529 (M Curry 1-3, C Robinson 1-4, J Stackhouse 2-3, C Atkins 3-4, J Barry 2-2, D Jones 0-1). Team Rebounds: 9. Blocked Shots:7 (B Wallace 4, C Robinson 2, Z Rebraca). Turnovers:10 (C Williamson 3, D Jones 2, J Stackhouse, C Atkins, R White, J Barry, B Wallace). Steals: 13 (B Wallace 5, M Curry 3, J Barry 2, D Jones 2, J Stackhouse).

INDIANA (77)

fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp R Artest 32 4-15 3-4 1-8 0 5 11 J O'Neal 39 5-14 1-3 2-7 1 6 11 B Miller 35 8-14 2-3 8-15 1 5 18 R Miller 44 5-10 5-5 0-4 6 2 16 J Tinsley 25 2-7 0-0 2-3 6 2 5 R Mercer 24 7-12 0-0 0-2 0 3 15 J Foster 12 0-0 0-0 1-2 0 1 0 J Bender 8 0-2 1-2 0-1 1 3 1 A Croshere 3 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 K Ollie 18 0-1 0-0 0-3 6 2 0 B Sundov DNP - COACH'S DECISION P Brezec DNP - COACH'S DECISION

_____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 31-77 12-17 14-45 21 29 77 _____________________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.403, FT-.706. 3-Point Goals: 3-14, .214 (R Artest 0-6, R Miller 1-2, J Tinsley 1-4, R Mercer 1-1, J Bender 0-1). Team Rebounds: 8. Blocked Shots:5 (J O'Neal 3, J Bender, J Foster). Turnovers:20 (J Tinsley 6, B Miller 4, R Miller 3, R Mercer 2, R Artest 2, J O'Neal, J Bender, J Foster). Steals: 6 (R Artest 4, R Mercer, J Foster).

------------------------------------------- DETROIT 23 20 25 28 - 96 INDIANA 24 16 20 17 - 77 -------------------------------------------

Technical fouls: Detroit - 1 (C Williamson 2 (ejected), 1:16 4th). Indiana - 2 (Defensive Three, 10:36 1st; B Miller, 10:07 3rd). Flagrant fouls: Indiana 1 (J O'Neal, 1:16 4th). A: 16,127. T: 2:12. Officials: Dee Kantner, Joe Forte, Tim Donaghy.


Game Story

INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- In more ways than one, the Detroit Pistons showed the Indiana Pacers how tough they are.

Corliss Williamson scored 23 points and pegged the ball at Jermaine O'Neal as the Pistons overpowered the Pacers, 96-77, for their sixth win in seven games.

The surprising Pistons (42-28) have taken control of the Central Division with a team of mostly role players who hustle, rebound, play tough defense and are not afraid to mix it up a little bit.

Bursts by Detroit of 16-2 in the third quarter and 13-0 in the fourth quarter already had decided the outcome when Williamson drove the left baseline with 1:16 to go. As he went up for a layup, he was given a flying body block by O'Neal.

"If you're having a bad game defensively, that's no way to react. No class," Pistons forward Ben Wallace said. "After they beat us (in Detroit), they talked a lot. Our message tonight was, keep your mouth shut."

"I'm surprised," Pacers coach Isiah Thomas said. "That's something he hasn't shown. I think it was frustration."

Williamson fired the ball at O'Neal from about five feet away, hitting him solidly before chaos ensued. Wallace stepped between them and O'Neal shoved him. Wallace had to be restrained before O'Neal took a swing at Pistons forward Michael Curry.

"I don't know his reason for that kind of foul," said Williamson, who slyly added, "My reaction to it was the ball slipped out of my hands."

The Pistons were not happy about the shot O'Neal took at Williamson.

"We do not play dirty," Pistons coach Rick Carlisle said. "We do not throw cheap shots and I did not see us throw any tonight. I can't speak for O'Neal, but that was one of the worst cheap shots I've ever seen. O'Neal seemed to calm down when Wallace stepped in his face."

"He's (O'Neal) got some issues. The kid has some issues," Pistons guard Jerry Stackhouse said.

Williamson and O'Neal both were ejected and O'Neal faces a possible suspension for his actions toward Curry. That is not good news for the Pacers (35-35), who are just 2 1/2 games ahead of Washington for the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.

"They do a lot of talking for a .500 team," Stackhouse said.

Indiana dealt swingman Jalen Rose at the trading deadline to add toughness. With Isiah Thomas as coach, many people were likening them to Thomas' "Bad Boys" Pistons squads of the laet 1980s and early 1990s. But the Pacers were pushed around by the tougher team.

"This team is not in a very good place," Pacers guard Reggie Miller said. "Mentally, we think things are going to be given to us."

"Our team is like a family," Williamson said. "If you pick on one of us, you pick on all of us. We're always there to pick each other up."

Chucky Atkins scored 18 points and Wallace had 14 rebounds and four blocks for the Pistons, who opened a 4 1/2-game lead on Milwaukee atop the Central Division. Detroit has not won a division title since 1990, when it won its second of consecutive NBA titles.

"It was nice to come in here and get the victory," Atkins said. "If people do not respect us or have their eyes closed, that's on them. We can't control that."

Atkins made three 3-pointers in 69 seconds, starting a run that turned a one-point edge into a 67-52 advantage with 3:03 remaining.

The Pacers closed the quarter with an 8-1 surge, and two jumpers by Ron Mercer opened the final period and cut the deficit to 68-64 with 10:05 left. The Pistons called a timeout and returned to the court with a vengeance.

Williamson made two free throws and Jon Barry a jumper before throwing a blind pass directly over his head to a trailing Curry, who dunked for a 74-64 lead. Barry drilled a long 3-pointer and Williamson scored twice inside, making it 81-64 with 7:03 to go.

"We feel real confident with the way we're playing," Williamson said.

The Pistons shot 47 percent (34-of-73) from the field, including 9-of-17 from the arc, and committed just 11 turnovers as they won without big games from leading scorers Stackhouse and Cliff Robinson. Stackhouse scored 12 points and Robinson 13 as the duo combined to make just 9-of-31 shots.

Brad Miller had 18 points and 15 rebounds and Reggie Miller scored 16 points for the Pacers, who shot 40 percent (31-of-77) and committed 21 turnovers.

"We went from clicking smoothly to the wheels coming off," Thomas said.

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