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Hill Helps Pistons Bounce Back

From Associated Press

One of the things that has keyed the Detroit Pistons’ startling season has been their dominance in games on consecutive days.

But after losing at Miami on Tuesday, and losing Otis Thorpe to injury early in Wednesday night’s game against Orlando, it looked as if that run might end.

No one told Grant Hill, though. Hill had 31 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, and the Pistons pulled away to record a 96-87 victory at Auburn Hills, Mich. It was his fifth triple-double of the season.

“I don’t even think there are words to describe how good Grant was tonight,” Piston Coach Doug Collins said. “He was just unbelievable, and our guys just refused to lose this game.”

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Hill made consecutive three-point plays, highlighting a 13-2 run in the third quarter as Detroit overcame a 54-50 deficit.

“Grant’s a great player, and he played exceptionally well,” Magic Coach Brian Hill said. “They’ve been beating a lot of teams that way, and tonight was nothing different.”

Orlando tied the score, 71-71, early in the fourth quarter, but the Pistons went on an 8-0 surge, capped by Terry Mills’ three-point shot with 9:45 left. Detroit scored eight in a row later in the period, holding Orlando scoreless for 3 1/2 minutes in opening a 13-point lead.

“In the last couple weeks, we’ve gotten away from the type of defense that has won so many games for us,” Detroit’s Michael Curry said. “Tonight, we got back to it--pressuring the ball, and making the opponents work hard for every shot.”

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Joe Dumars added 21 points for the Pistons, and the Detroit reserves outscored Orlando’s, 26-15.

Nick Anderson scored 20 for the Magic. Hardaway had 16, but shot only three for 15 and fouled out.

Vancouver 106, San Antonio 101--Bryant Reeves scored 31 points and the Grizzlies defeated the Spurs at San Antonio to win the first season series in the team’s two-year history.

The Grizzlies built a 22-point lead in the second quarter and held off a late rally by the Spurs.

San Antonio, which learned during the game it may be without two-time all-star Sean Elliott for the rest of the season, slipped to 12-35. Elliott will have surgery next week to correct chronic tendinitis in his right knee.

Phoenix 131, Boston 100--Wesley Person scored a career-high 33 points and Kevin Johnson had his 12th career triple-double by halftime as the Suns defeated the Celtics at Phoenix.

In a game matching the worst teams in the Atlantic and Pacific divisions, Johnson played only the first 34 minutes and finished with 22 points, 17 assists and 11 rebounds.

Johnson had 14 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds in the first half as Phoenix made 30 of its 41 field goals for a 74-45 lead.

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Charlotte 113, New Jersey 100--Vlade Divac blocked a franchise-record 12 shots and Anthony Mason had 21 points and 18 rebounds, leading the Hornets over the Nets at Charlotte.

Glen Rice scored 27 points for the Hornets and Muggsy Bogues had 16 points and a season-high 15 assists. Divac set a career-high for blocked shots. He also scored 18 points and had nine rebounds before fouling out with 7.5 seconds left.

Kendall Gill, formerly of the Hornets, scored 26 points for the Nets and Kerry Kittles had 23. The Nets led, 53-49, at halftime before Charlotte rallied, outscoring New Jersey, 31-21, in the third quarter.

Cleveland 83, Indiana 75--Terrell Brandon had 22 points, a career-high 12 rebounds and nine assists, leading the Cavaliers at Indianapolis.

Brandon hit a clutch jumper down the stretch and sparked Cleveland’s swarming defense as the Pacers attempted to fight back in the final minutes. Chris Mills scored 17 points for Cleveland.

Reggie Miller led Indiana with 22 points, while Rik Smits added 17.

Atlanta 106, Toronto 84--The Hawks, led by Jon Barry, reeled off a 25-0 run in the fourth quarter and defeated the Raptors at Atlanta for their 20th consecutive victory at home.

The Raptors, who lost their fifth in a row on the road, led, 64-63, with 2:45 left in the third period. But Christian Laettner hit a jump shot and Tyrone Corbin made a three-point shot to start a 33-4 burst.

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Laettner had 19 points and 12 rebounds, while Blaylock had 19 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds.


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