Pistons Cruise By Sonics


Grant Hill and the Detroit Pistons finally got to enjoy a victory and a lead at home.

Hill scored 10 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Pistons to a 107-99 win, their first at home this season, over the Seattle SuperSonics Saturday night.

It was the first win in three games for Detroit, which never led at any point in the two previous home losses.

"Playing at home is supposed to be a big advantage in this league, but for us, it had seemed like a disadvantage," Hill said. "So I'm really happy that we won this one. But at 2-5, we are still in a hole. We've got to try to get back to .500 by the end of the month."

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Game Summary

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  • Hill outdueled Seattle's Gary Payton, who finished with 30 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.

    "Gary does that every night," said Seattle coach Paul Westphal. "He's a fantastic player, and we see it from him all the time."

    Detroit also got 24 points from Jerry Stackhouse and 13 points and 11 rebounds from Jerome Williams as they improved to 2-5 after an 0-4 start. Seattle (5-2) got 16 points from Ruben Patterson.

    "Jerry was great and Jerome did an excellent job for us," Pistons coach Alvin Gentry said. "I have no complaints with Jerry Stackhouse this year. He's only had one bad shooting night all year."

    Detroit hadn't led in either of their first two home games, but jumped out to a 12-2 edge against the Sonics. Seattle quickly got back into the game, but the Pistons led 54-52 at the half behind 18 points from Hill.

    "If we had taken care of business in the first half, we wouldn't have had to work as hard in the second," Westphal said. "We let them hang around and get some confidence, and then we couldn't pull it out in the end."

    Detroit increased the margin to 67-57, but had Hill and Christian Laettner on the bench in foul trouble.

    But Stackhouse scored nine points in the period and Lindsey Hunter and Williams added five each to let the Pistons maintain a 82-75 edge at the end of the third.

    Hill got the first basket of the fourth, but Payton scored nine points in an 11-2 Sonics run that tied the game at 86 with eight minutes to go.

    Two baskets from Hill and a 3-pointer from Hunter put the Pistons back up 95-90 with 4:45 left, but the Sonics stayed alive on Brent Barry's three-point play.

    Payton missed a 3-pointer that would have tied the game with 2:11 to go, and Hill's turnaround jumper on the ensuing possession made it a five-point game and put it out of reach.

    Notes

  • Detroit's first home lead of the season came after 97 minutes and 22 seconds on Hill's jumper to make it 4-2.
  • Detroit signed guard John Crotty Saturday and placed him on the injured list with a strained groin. Jermaine Jackson came off the injured list, and Marcus Brown was placed on waivers.
  • Seattle's Gary Payton was named USA Basketball's Male Athlete of the Year Friday. That also makes him a finalist for the US Olympic Committee's Sportsman of the Year award.
  • Stackhouse was a perfect 14-14 from the free-throw line.

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