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Pistons escape Heat comeback

By JAMAL THALJI, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published October 21, 2002

TAMPA -- Unbeaten Detroit continued to tear through the preseason Sunday night, escaping Miami 85-80 in overtime in front of 9,874 at the St. Pete Times Forum to earn its sixth consecutive win.

But victory was not without its price: Eight-year veteran forward Don Reid went down with 11:06 left in the second quarter with a torn right Achilles' tendon. He will be evaluated by a doctor in Detroit today, but is out for the season.

"It's very disappointing," Pistons coach Rick Carlisle said. "He's really been one of our inspirational players in camp. But in the short time I've been around him I know he will come back from this and continue his career.

"I don't think there's any question he has the wherewithal to come back from (the injury.)"

Reid, who spent the past two seasons with Orlando before signing with Detroit, collapsed when he stepped back after missing a jump shot.

"It slipped out from under me," he said. "Then it stopped, then I heard it pop, then I thought someone was on top of my leg when I went down. I couldn't move my foot."

With returning NBA defensive player of the year Ben Wallace resting on the bench, the Pistons led most of the game, taking a 10-point lead in the first, expanding it to a game-high 14 at the half and keeping it at 13 in the third, when the Heat (2-4) started to whittle away at it.

Miami's Brian Grant's uncontested dunk cut the lead to 56-53 with 2:13 left in the third. Jon Barry and rookie Tayshaun Prince sank back-to-back 3-pointers to bump Detroit's lead to 10 with 6:42 left in the fourth.

But with both teams' reserves on the floor, the Heat mounted a furious comeback in the final four minutes to tie it at 75. Miami rookie forward Caron Butler scored four in the fourth, and had a chance to give Miami the lead at the line with 5.1 seconds left. His first free throw tied it, but his second missed.

Prince missed an awkward shot for Detroit as the buzzer sounded. It didn't help that the Pistons were 2-for-7 at the line in the fourth quarter.

But Detroit regained its composure in overtime. Richard Hamilton, acquired in the offseason in the Jerry Stackhouse trade, opened the extra period with a jumper, followed by Pepe Sanchez's 3-pointer for an 80-75 lead with 2:53 left.

Miami's Anthony Carter rolled in a layup to cut the lead to one with 1:15 left. Hubert Davis' 3-pointer with 59.1 seconds left made it 83-79, and the Pistons never looked back. Mehmet Okur swatted a Butler shot with 35 seconds left, and Prince closed it out, sinking two free throws with 6.8 seconds left.

Butler led all Miami scorers with 15 points and was 5-for-8 at the line, with four rebounds. Grant had 13 points and seven rebounds. Prince led Detroit with 13, going 4-for-6 from the field and 3-for-4 from 3-point range. Center Zeljko Rebraca had 13 points and seven rebounds.

Point guard Chucky Atkins, the former South Florida standout, had eight points and three assists off the bench, making 2-of-3 3-pointers.

ROCKETS 101, MAGIC 96: With Yao Ming watching from the bench, Steve Francis had 16 points and nine assists to lead host Houston. After months of negotiations, Yao, the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, landed in Houston Sunday. Rockets rookie Joaquin Hawkins hit two free throws with 11.1 seconds to play. Hawkins had 13 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 blocked shot, and Bostjan Nachbar added seven points and four rebounds. Darrell Armstrong led Orlando with 18 points and six rebounds.

RAPTORS 84, CELTICS 73: Vince Carter, who missed Toronto's previous preseason game with a stiff back, had 18 points and 10 rebounds. Morris Peterson had 21 points for the host Raptors. Raptors center Nate Huffman is scheduled for arthroscopic surgery on his right knee today, and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.

KINGS 91, SUPERSONICS 90: Peja Stojakovic and Vlade Divac scored 18, and Hedo Turkoglu made a free throw with 2.1 seconds left to lift visiting Sacramento.

-- Information from Times wires was used in this report.

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