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Pistons set under-100 record

1/4/2004

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Larry Brown wasn't around for the end
of his 900th career NBA coaching victory.

Brown was mistakenly ejected in the third quarter of the
Pistons' 99-93 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday
night as Detroit set an NBA record by holding its 34th consecutive
opponent below 100 points.

"That will go down as one of the top 10 bizarre plays in the
NBA," Pistons center Ben Wallace said.

Moments after Richard Hamilton was given a technical foul for
arguing a foul call with 4:31 left in the third quarter, Brown was
also given a technical.

Official Pat Fraher, believing referee Tim Donaghy had called
the first technical on Brown instead of Hamilton, had the coach
escorted from the court. After a discussion, it was announced that
Brown could come back, but he didn't.

Brown later left the arena while the game was still in progress,
and assistant Mike Woodson coached the final 15 minutes.

"We found out it was a misunderstanding, so now we were able,
under the rules, to say that a coach has not been ejected," crew
chief Dick Bavetta told a pool reporter. "Why he didn't come back,
I don't know. That's his decision."

The Pistons players weren't sure what was happening.

"That was weird," Chauncey Billups said. "They told us he was
coming back, but we never saw him again."

Detroit broke the under-100 points record set by the New York
Knicks in 2000-01.

"We don't really think much about that record," Woodson said.
"We just try to play tough defense, and this comes from that. We
know that if we can keep this up, we'll win a lot of ball games."

Golden State trailed by 14 points with less than five minutes to
play, but Jason Richardson had eight points -- including two
3-pointers -- in a 15-0 run that put the Warriors up 91-90 with 1:28
to play.

"We were down 14 with five minutes to go and we just didn't
quit," Golden State coach Eric Musselman said.

Hamilton put the Pistons back ahead 15 seconds later with two
free throws.

After Nick Van Exel answered with a jumper, Darvin Ham's
three-point play made it 95-93.

"Ben made a great pass and Ham made a great finish," Woodson
said. "We put Darvin in there for defense, but he made a play on
offense for us."

Van Exel missed at the other end, and Chauncey Billups was
fouled by Brian Cardinal on a drive to the basket. The call was
originally called a charge before being reversed, and Billups made
it a four-point game with the free throws.

"I couldn't believe the call at first, so I was glad they
changed it," Billups said.

Tayshaun Prince led the Pistons with 20 points and nine
rebounds, while Mehmet Okur and Hamilton had 18 each. Richardson
led all scorers with 24, while Van Exel added 18.

Golden State led 49-48 at the half, and the game stayed close
throughout the third quarter -- even as Brown was leaving the arena.
The Pistons' defense took over early in the fourth, forcing three
shot-clock violations in the first five minutes as Detroit expanded
its lead to 90-76.<

"It's a tough loss, but sometimes a loss can really turn the
season around," Van Exel said. "We gave ourselves a chance in the
fourth quarter, which is something we haven't been able to do on
the road."
^Notes:@ Brown also has 229 career coaching victories in the ABA and
177 college coaching victories. ... Detroit's Corliss Williamson
(back) and Golden State's Calbert Cheaney (ill) were not in
uniform. ... Golden State's first field goal of the fourth quarter
came with 4:55 to play.