© St. Petersburg Times, published February 14, 2003
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- It's motivating the Pistons that few seem to mention them as one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference.
Richard Hamilton scored 29 points as Detroit beat the Magic 98-88 Thursday night for a sixth straight victory.
The Pistons pulled within a game of Indiana for the best record in the Central Division and Eastern Conference.
"A lot of people are still doubting us," said Hamilton, who made 10 of 18 shots and 9 of 12 free throws.
The Magic, led by Tracy McGrady's 35 points, has lost six of eight and might have to compete with Washington for the final playoff spot.
CELTICS 100, BLAZERS 92: Paul Pierce scored 36 points as visiting Boston let a 20-point lead slip away in the second half but recovered in the final two minutes for the victory.
NATIONAL TEAM: Tracy McGrady, Ray Allen, Tim Duncan and Jason Kidd were named to USA Basketball's Senior National Team that will attempt to qualify for next year's Summer Olympics. They are the first of 12 players who will participate in the 10-nation qualifying tournament Aug. 20-31 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
WNBA: Former NBA coach Bernie Bickerstaff was hired as general manager of the Charlotte Sting and assistant Trudi Lacey was promoted to coach. Lacey, who coached at the University of South Florida for eight years, replaces Anne Donovan, who left to become coach of the Seattle Storm.