Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 11/9

Game 1: Sunday, November 9th
Game 2: Friday, December 26th
Game 3: Tuesday, February 10th
Game 4: Thursday, March 18th

Nets 84

(3-4, 2-2 away)

Pistons 98

(5-1, 3-1 home)

6:00 PM ET, November 9, 2003

The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

1 2 3 4 T
NJ 26 21 23 1484
DET 20 28 27 2398

Top Performers

NJ: J. Kidd 18 Pts, 3 Reb, 11 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

Det: R. Hamilton 24 Pts, 6 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl

Williamson scores 20 off the bench

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- The Detroit Pistons enjoyed a small measure of revenge for last season's sweep in the Eastern Conference finals.

Richard Hamilton scored 24 points, Corliss Williamson added 20 off the bench and Detroit beat the New Jersey Nets 98-84 Sunday for its fifth straight win.

"There's no better way to get ready for a West Coast trip than to beat the defending champs in the East," Williamson said. "That's why this one was important."

Ben Wallace had 12 points and 11 rebounds for Detroit, which improved to 5-1. Chauncey Billups and Elden Campbell scored 11 each.

"We aren't making a big deal about last year, but we know that to come out of the East, the road is going to probably go through Jersey," Wallace said. "So this is a big win to build on, and a big win for our confidence."

Jason Kidd led the Nets with 18 points and 11 assists, and Kerry Kittles scored 17. Jason Collins added 11 points and 10 rebounds for New Jersey, which was missing injured forwards Kenyon Martin, Rodney Rogers and Brian Scalabrine.

"You just have to deal with it," Nets coach Byron Scott said. "We're thin with the big men we do have, and when they get in foul trouble, that's going to hurt you on the offensive end and the defensive end."

Detroit trailed by as many as 13 in the first quarter, but rallied to take a 48-47 edge at halftime.

"We played really soft early, but our bench, especially Corliss, came in and got us going," Pistons coach Larry Brown said. "I think, at times, we don't have a defensive mentality to start the game. And when you start out trying to outscore people, it is difficult to pick it up later."

The teams traded baskets throughout the third, but Detroit finished with a 6-2 run to take a 75-70 lead into the final period.

The Pistons moved the margin to 82-74 with a six-point spurt and had a chance to take a double-digit lead, but Lindsey Hunter missed a 3-pointer with 8:30 left.

New Jersey scored the next four points, but two baskets from Hamilton, including a 3-pointer, and Williamson's dunk put Detroit up 89-78 with five minutes to go.

"We just didn't get it done," said New Jersey's Alonzo Mourning, who finished with nine points and five rebounds in 16 minutes. "I still think we match up well with Detroit. We're short-handed, and look how we played. We'll be back, and they know that."

Game notes

The Pistons placed guard Chucky Atkins (knee) on the injured list before the game and activated Hunter. ... The Nets dressed just 10 players. They have the maximum three players on the injured list. ... Wallace left early in the second half with a twisted ankle, but returned after four minutes on the bench. ... New Jersey's Tamar Slay picked up four fouls in a four-minute stretch of the second quarter. ... Pistons rookie Darko Milicic had a chance for the first points of his career in the final minute, but a long outlet pass sailed through his hands.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 84 98
FGM-FGA 32-74 (.432) 35-80 (.438)
3PM-3PA 2-9 (.222) 3-10 (.300)
FTM-FTA 18-24 (.750) 25-33 (.758)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-37 14-41
Assists 25 25
Turnovers 21 16
Steals 8 11
Blocks 5 3
Fast Break Points 3 5
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 30 (0/0) 25 (1/0)

Top Performers

New Jersey
Jason Kidd Kidd
Points: 18
Reb: 3
Ast: 11
Stl: 1
Blk: 1
Richard Hamilton Hamilton
Points: 24
Reb: 6
Ast: 2
Stl: 2
Blk: 0