Heat Burn Pistons In 2OT


The Miami Heat lost three starters to fouls, couldn't stop Grant Hill and still won in double overtime.

Reserves Mark Strickland and Clarence Weatherspoon sparked the Heat in the second extra period, and they outlasted Hill and the Detroit Pistons 128-122 Tuesday night in a wild season opener.

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Game Summary

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  • Hill scored Detroit's first 13 points in overtime and finished with 41 points in 52 minutes. Teammate Jerry Stackhouse had 26 points, including a 3-pointer with half a second left in the fourth period to force overtime.

    The NBA crackdown on physical play resulted in 81 fouls, six disqualifications, 91 free throws and a game that lasted nearly 3 1/2 hours.

    "I felt like we've already played three weeks of the season," Pistons coach Alvin Gentry said.

    "David Stern will like that one when he reads about it in the morning," Heat coach Pat Riley joked, referring to the league commissioner. "It got a little wild. You can see the effects of the rule changes."

    Miami's Alonzo Mourning and Jamal Mashburn fouled out in the fourth quarter, and Dan Majerle fouled out in the first overtime. Stackhouse, Lindsey Hunter and Michael Curry fouled out for Detroit.

    "I didn't think it was a physical game at all," Riley said. "I don't know if the league wants that very incidental contact called. I hope there's some clarification."

    The Pistonnever led in regulation. They erased an eight-point deficit in the final 3@1/2 minutes of the fourth period, then overcame a five-point deficit in the first overtime.

    "It was remarkable we were even in the game," Hill said.

    Strickland put Miami ahead to stay with a tip-in at the start of the second overtime. He later converted a three-point play, and Weatherspoon scored six points in the period.

    Tim Hardaway had 32 points for the Heat, who won despite shooting 26 percent in the third and fourth periods. Miami shot 39 percent, Detroit 43 percent.

    The rule changes helped scoring, if not shooting. Miami reached 100 points only four times last season.

    "I'm not used to those," Riley said. "I'm used to 82-80 games. Our defensive average has gone to hell for the next 10 games."

    Mashburn scored 21 points before committing his sixth foul with 39 seconds to go in the fourth period. Mourning had 14 points and 13 rebounds, but Detroit rallied from a 90-82 deficit when he fouled out with 3:21 left in the fourth quarter.

    Stackhouse's 3-pointer from beyond the top of the circle made the score 100-all to force overtime.

    The Pistons took their only lead at 108-107 on a 20-footer by Hill in the first overtime.

    "He was taking it to us," Hardaway said. "But we were taking it right back to him."

    Hill made one of two free throws to tie the game at 109 with 1:06 left, and Hardaway missed a 35-footer at the buzzer, forcing the second extra period.

    The game was a rematch of last season's opener in Miami, which Detroit won 95-81.

    Laettner missed his first eight shots for Detroit, and Hill missed his first six. The Pistons' poor shooting allowed Miami to build a 47-32 lead in the second period, but a 13-2 run by Detroit cut the margin to 64-63 midway through the third quarter.

    Notes

  • Mourning, who pledges to shoot better from the free-throw line this season, went 4-for-7.
  • Hill missed his first six shots. Laettner started 0-for-8.
  • Hill had 18 of Detroit's 22 points in overtime.
  • Stat of the night: Miami improved to 5-0 at home in double-overtime games.
  • Hunter shot just 31 percent in three games against the Heat last season.
  • Miami started 1-3 last season but rebounded to win the Atlantic Division for the third consecutive year.

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