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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- DETROIT 28 25 23 25 101 NEW JERSEY 27 23 36 28 114 FINAL


Box Score

DETROIT (101) AT NEW JERSEY (114)

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

HILL F 40 7-14 7-10 2 10 12 7 3 0 10 21 REID F 31 2-5 0-0 2 1 3 1 4 1 1 4 B WILLIAMS C 12 1-3 0-0 3 2 5 0 5 0 2 2 HUNTER G 34 4-10 2-4 1 1 2 1 4 1 5 14 DUMARS G 12 4-7 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 11 POLLARD 28 5-6 1-1 1 2 3 0 3 2 1 11 STACKHOUSE 30 5-10 10-13 1 1 2 7 5 3 3 20 OBANNON 14 1-4 0-0 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 2 J WILLIAMS 25 3-5 3-6 3 2 5 1 2 3 1 9 SEALY 9 1-3 0-0 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 2 HENSON 5 2-3 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 5 MAHORN DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 35-70 23-34 13 21 34 18 30 12 24 101 (.500) (.676) TEAM REBS: 10 TOTAL TO: 24(38 PTS)

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

VAN HORN F 44 10-20 4-4 2 2 4 4 4 0 3 25 GILL F 36 9-12 9-9 3 2 5 0 3 5 2 27 GATLING C 35 5-13 8-10 2 8 10 0 3 0 2 18 KITTLES G 47 8-20 4-4 4 7 11 5 3 2 1 22 DOUGLAS G 47 8-12 2-4 2 1 3 11 4 5 6 18 HARRIS 11 0-2 1-2 2 0 2 2 1 2 1 1 VAUGHN 8 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 0 4 0 0 0 SEIKALY 5 1-1 1-2 1 0 1 0 3 0 0 3 MACLEAN 4 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 EVANS 3 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 CASSELL DNP - STRAINED BACK HALEY DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 41-82 29-35 16 23 39 22 26 14 15 114 (.500) (.829) TEAM REBS: 10 TOTAL TO: 15(14 PTS)

DETROIT 28 25 23 25 - 101 NEW JERSEY 27 23 36 28 - 114

BLOCKED SHOTS: DETROIT - REID 3, B WILLIAMS, POLLARD, SEALY. NEW JERSEY - VAN HORN, GATLING. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: DETROIT 8-16 (.500), HILL 0-1, HUNTER 4-7, DUMARS 3-4, STACKHOUSE 0-2, SEALY 0-1, HENSON 1-1. NEW JERSEY 3-10 (.300), VAN HORN 1-3, KITTLES 2-6, EVANS 0-1. TECHNICALS: DETROIT - STACKHOUSE 2 (EJECTED), NEW JERSEY - ILLEGAL DEFENSE 2. OFFICIALS: HUGH EVANS, LUIS GRILLO, SCOTT WALL. A - 20,049. T - 2:14.


Agate Box Score

DETROIT (101) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Hill 40 7-14 7-10 2-12 7 3 21 Reid 31 2-5 0-0 2-3 1 4 4 B Williams 12 1-3 0-0 3-5 0 5 2 Hunter 34 4-10 2-4 1-2 1 4 14 Dumars 12 4-7 0-0 0-0 0 1 11 Pollard 28 5-6 1-1 1-3 0 3 11 Stackhouse 30 5-10 10-13 1-2 7 5 20 Obannon 14 1-4 0-0 0-1 0 1 2 J Williams 25 3-5 3-6 3-5 1 2 9 Sealy 9 1-3 0-0 0-1 1 1 2 Henson 5 2-3 0-0 0-0 0 1 5 Mahorn DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 35-70 23-34 13-34 18 30 101 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.500, FT-.676. 3-Point Goals: 8-16, .500 (Hill 0-1, Hunter 4-7, Dumars 3-4, Stackhouse 0-2, Sealy 0-1, Henson 1-1). Team rebounds: 10. Blocked shots: 6 (Reid 3, B Williams, Pollard, Sealy). Turnovers: 24 (Hill 10, Hunter 5, Stackhouse 3, B Williams 2, J Williams, Pollard, Reid, Sealy). Steals: 12 (J Williams 3, Stackhouse 3, Pollard 2, Henson, Hunter, Obannon, Reid).

NEW JERSEY (114) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Van Horn 44 10-20 4-4 2-4 4 4 25 Gill 36 9-12 9-9 3-5 0 3 27 Gatling 35 5-13 8-10 2-10 0 3 18 Kittles 47 8-20 4-4 4-11 5 3 22 Douglas 47 8-12 2-4 2-3 11 4 18 Harris 11 0-2 1-2 2-2 2 1 1 Vaughn 8 0-0 0-0 0-2 0 4 0 Seikaly 5 1-1 1-2 1-1 0 3 3 Maclean 4 0-1 0-0 0-1 0 0 0 Evans 3 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 Cassell DNP - strained back Haley DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 41-82 29-35 16-39 22 26 114 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.500, FT-.829. 3-Point Goals: 3-10, .300 (Van Horn 1-3, Kittles 2-6, Evans 0-1). Team rebounds: 10. Blocked shots: 2 (Van Horn, Gatling). Turnovers: 15 (Douglas 6, Van Horn 3, Gatling 2, Gill 2, Harris, Kittles). Steals: 14 (Douglas 5, Gill 5, Harris 2, Kittles 2). ____________________________________________ Detroit 28 25 23 25 - 101 New Jersey 27 23 36 28 - 114 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Detroit 2 (Stackhouse 2 (ejected), 5:47 2nd, 3:57 4th). New Jersey 2 (Illegal Defense 2, 10:57 4th, 7:10 4th). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 20,049. T: 2:14. Officials: Hugh Evans, Luis Grillo, Scott Wall.


Game Recap

The New Jersey Nets finally claimed the last playoff berth as Kendall Gill scored a season-high 27 points in a 114-101 victory over the Detroit Pistons, vaulting the franchise into the postseason for the first time in four years.

Riddled with injuries and in the throes of a slump, the Nets seemed on the verge of blowing their first Eastern Conference playoff berth since 1994. Needing just one win in their final four games, the Nets lost three straight and watched as the Washington Wizards won their final four, making the game against the Pistons one of the biggest in franchise history.

Already without injured All-Star center Jayson Williams, the Nets also played without starting point guard Sam Cassell, who was injured in Friday's loss at Orlando. Veteran reserve Sherman Douglas picked up the slack for Cassell with 18 points and 11 assists, but it was Gill who won the game.

"I thought Kendall Gill was so large in this game," Nets coach John Calipari said. "Not just offensively, but defensively as well. It was a great effort."

Gill, who has sacrificed his offense all season, rescued the Nets with 14 points in the pivotal third quarter as New Jersey roared from a seven-point deficit to a 10-point lead. He added a pair of clutch baskets in the fourth quarter and, as the final seconds wound down, Gill launched the ball high into the seats at Continental Airlines Arena in celebration.

"I feel like I just won the championship," he said. "I've been here three years now and after so many struggles, it feels very good to have success. It is very satisfying."

"It feels great," Williams added. "I was in purgatory here for a few years. Right now, we have guys here who want to win."

Keith Van Horn scored 25 points and Kerry Kittles added 22 and 11 rebounds for the Nets (43-39), who improved 17 games from last season and clinched their 10th playoff berth since entering the NBA in 1976.

"I'm very excited to be in the playoffs," said Van Horn, who completed a stellar rookie season. "The only goal I have set this year was to help this team make the playoffs. ... This is a stepping stone for this franchise. I'm happy to be in the position that we're in."

New Jersey has won just one playoff series -- a first-round upset of defending champion Philadelphia in 1984 -- and plays at top-seeded Chicago on Friday. The Nets were 0-4 against the two-time defending champion Bulls this season.

"It's a good challenge," Calipari said. "This year we played 'em pretty good. This gives us an opoportunity to play the best and let's just see what's happens."

"I'm looking forward to playing in Chicago," Williams said. "Everyone knows the pressure's all on them. The only pressure on us is to go out and play hard."

Grant Hill collected 21 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists and Jerry Stackhouse added 20 points and seven assists before he was ejected for the Pistons (37-45), whose disappointing season came to an end.

Detroit added Stackhouse, Malik Sealy and center Brian Williams to a team that won 54 games last season. But the Pistons never were above .500 after the first week of the season and fired coach Doug Collins in February. They have not won a postseason series since 1991.

"We would have liked to have ended the season on a positive note with a win, but we were playing a team who was playing extremely hard," Pistons interim coach Alvin Gentry said.

New Jersey forced 24 turnovers, turning them into 38 points. Hill, who approached a triple-double for the third consecutive game, had 10 giveaways.

"They just outplayed us today," he said. "The third quarter was the difference. You could see they really wanted this game. There's no way we should have turned it over that many times."

New Jersey trailed 53-50 at halftime and Lindsey Hunter drilled consecutive three-pointers to give Detroit a 59-52 lead with 10:46 left in the third quarter. But Gill scored six points in a 10-2 surge over the next three minutes that gave the Nets a one-point lead.

Gill and Scot Pollard traded dunks before Kittles made a pair of free throws to trigger a 16-5 surge that ended the third period. Gill had a 22-footer, two free throws and a driving dunk, and a three-pointer by Kittles with 27 seconds to go gave New Jersey an 86-76 lead entering the final quarter. The Nets benefited from five turnovers during the run.

The lead danced between eight and 11 points until a dunk by Hill pulled the Pistons within 98-91 with 6:36 remaining. Kittles and Stackhouse traded baskets before Gill made a corner jumper to give the Nets a 102-93 lead with 5:09 to go.

Stackhouse made two free throws, but was ejected less than a minute later for arguing a foul call. Van Horn made the technical foul shot and Chris Gatling added two free throws to give the Nets a 105-95 bulge with 3:57 left. Detroit's Jerome Williams scored, but Gill answered with a 20-footer and Kittles sank a runner in the lane to expand the lead to 109-97 with 1:40 left. Detroit got no closer thereafter.

"Kendall Gill took over the game and was the reason we won. He's a true professional," Calipari said.

Gatling had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Nets, who shot 50 percent (41-of-82) from the field and held a 39-34 rebounding advantage. New Jersey got just four points from its bench.

Hunter scored 14 points and Pollard and Joe Dumars added 11 apiece for the Pistons, who also shot 50 percent (35-of-70) but missed 11-of-34 free throws. The Nets were 29-of-35 from the line.

Playing in front of a sellout crowd of 20,049, the Nets led for much of the first quarter but trailed 28-27 after one period as Van Horn's nine points were offset by 11 from Dumars.

A jumper by Kittles capped a 10-2 burst and gave New Jersey a 37-30 lead with 8:44 left in the second quarter. The Pistons battled back and took a three-point halftime lead behind eight second-quarter points from Stackhouse.

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