- The Washington Times - Monday, November 5, 2001

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. The Detroit Pistons can't be this good, and the Washington Wizards can't be this bad.
The Pistons ran past, through and around the sleepwalking Wizards en route to a 100-78 victory at the Palace at Auburn Hills last night, a win that extended their record to an impressive 3-1.
The Pistons clearly were the better team in every aspect of the game, and it didn't take long for that point to be established. The Pistons raced out of the gate and never relented until it was clear the Wizards (2-2) were simply in over their heads.
The Pistons pummeled them early, so much so that it was clear to all 22,076 that the final score was in no way representative of the rout that took place.
"Rick Carlisle was nice to us tonight," Wizards coach Doug Collins said of the Pistons coach who at one point saw his team lead by 37 points. "He could have beat us by about 50."
If Carlisle was kind, the same could not be said for brutal Detroit fans who showered Michael Jordan and his teammates with insults and ridicule of the likes of which Jordan hasn't heard in some time.
"They're loyal fans and obviously they are going to try to get my mind off of what I'm trying to do," Jordan said. "I don't let that affect the way that I play. But you've got to take your medicine. Obviously you'd like to get back out on the court and play. You just don't want to be in this circumstance any time soon. It's been a while since I've heard some heckling like that."
Jordan got to hear most of it from the bench in the second half as Wizards coach Doug Collins a former Pistons coach and also the target of these Midwestern comedians pulled Jordan and the rest of his starters from this lost cause at the 7:51 mark of the third quarter. At the time the Wizards were staring at a 70-49 deficit and had played listlessly. Collins can only hope that his starters used the time to prepare themselves for their trip to Boston on Wednesday where they can only hope to make amends for last night's fiasco.
Pulling Jordan was the thing for Collins to do because it seemed the rest of his teammates took the night off.
Jordan led the Wizards with 19 points and eight rebounds in 23 minutes. Jordan scored 15 of his points in the second quarter when he was responsible for all but four of the team's points. Reserve point guard Tyronn Lue was the only other Washington player to reach double digits in scoring. Lue finished with a season-high 11 points.
Detroit was led by Jerry Stackhouse, whose 28 points were one more than the number of minutes he played. Stackhouse, guarded most of the evening by Richard Hamilton, scored 22 points in the first half.
Corliss Williamson came off the bench to add 18 points for the Pistons and starting point guard Dana Barros finished with 17 points. Former Wizard Ben Wallace had 12 rebounds, and the Pistons were nine of 23 from the three-point line. However, in the first half, when the game began to get out of control, the Pistons were 7-for-10 from behind the three-point line.
In fact, it was the Wizards disastrous first half that rendered the second half virtually unwatchable.
Stackhouse and his teammates played as well as they were capable of in the first quarter. Stackhouse scored nine of the Pistons' last 11 points of the quarter as Detroit forged a 26-18 lead heading into the second period.
The Pistons shot 12-for-22 in the first half and shot almost 60 percent (58.1) from the floor in the first half. Meanwhile the Wizards made just 34 percent of their shots in the half.
While Stackhouse was responsible for most of the Wizards' agony in the first quarter he made all but two of his nine shots from the field the second quarter was more of an ensemble butchering.
Down by eight points at the end of the first, the Pistons jumped on Washington at the start of the second quarter. Detroit opened the second quarter on a 17-4 run that stopped only because the Wizards called timeout with 5:54 left in the half.


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