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Monster Mash

Mashburn's bank shot gives Heat 2-0 series lead

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Posted: Wednesday April 26, 2000 12:48 PM

  Christian Laettner, Alonzo Mourning Heat center Alonzo Mourning elbowed his way around Christian Laettner while driving to the basket. AP

MIAMI (AP) -- The Miami Heat handed the Detroit Pistons a particularly painful loss Tuesday night.

Grant Hill, hurting so badly he could no longer play, hopped to the bench early in the third quarter and kicked the back of a chair in frustration.

And when Jamal Mashburn sank an eight-footer with six seconds left, Miami won 84-82 Tuesday night to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series.

Game 3 is Saturday in Detroit.

"We're in a heck of a hole that Miami has created," Pistons coach George Irvine said. "We've got to claw our way out."

The Heat won despite blowing a six-point lead in the final 2:08. Detroit's last chance ended when Jerry Stackhouse slipped driving to the basket and lost the ball, which Miami's Dan Majerle recovered as time expired.

"I feel sick," Stackhouse said. "I thought I had a clear path to the basket, so I tried to attack it. Then I backed out for a jump shot, and I slipped."

Hill started but played less than four minutes in the second half because of a bone bruise in his left foot that has bothered him since late in the regular season. He scored nine points in 21 minutes.

"I felt something pop," Hill said. He was to undergo an MRI early Wednesday when the team returned to Detroit.

Down But Not Out
NBA teams that overcame an 0-2 deficit
Year  Team  Opponent 
1994  Nuggets  Sonics 
1993  Suns*  Lakers 
1990  Knicks  Celtics 
1987  Warriors  Jazz 
1956  Pistons  Hawks 
*lost the first two games at home

All five Heat starters scored in double figures to overcome Tim Hardaway's absence and foul trouble that hampered Mashburn, Alonzo Mourning and P.J. Brown.

"This is about leaving your heart on the floor," Mourning said. "That's what it came down to. We just wanted it a little more."

Mashburn had 24 points and Mourning 22. Rookie Anthony Carter, again coolly filling in for Hardaway, had 10 points and 13 assists, a Heat franchise playoff record. Hardaway missed his second consecutive game because of a sore left foot.

"It was a great game, and we'll take it," coach Pat Riley said. "Offensively, we did just enough to win."

Stackhouse led Detroit with 26 points.

About 125 people demonstrated near the arena before the game to protest the Elian Gonzalez case, but despite a general strike called by Cuban Americans, there were few no-shows in the announced crowd of 16,500.

The Heat went ahead 75-74 on a basket by Brown and built the lead to 82-76. But a 3-pointer by Terry Mills cut the margin to 82-79, and Jerome Williams' layup made the score 82-all with 59 seconds left.

After Majerle missed a 3-point try, Stackhouse had a driving shot blocked with 26 seconds to go.

Pistons at Heat
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A disgusted Jerry Stackhouse protested a non-call at the end of the game. Start (1.5 M .mov)
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With the clock running down, Mashburn took the ball on the left side, spun to split defenders Lindsey Hunter and Michael Curry, then banked a shot over Christian Laettner and off the glass for the winning score.

Mashburn said he knew the Pistons would try to strip the ball before he shot.

"I expected somebody to come, so I kept the ball real low and used a little misdirection," he said. "It worked out well."

The basket pushed the Pistons, who haven't won a playoff series since 1991, to the brink of elimination.

Hill sank his first three shots in the opening five minutes, but those were the All-Star forward's only baskets.

"I can't remember when I felt that good at the start of the game," Hill said. "I was energized. I got into a good rhythm early."

But he aggravated the injury in the first period. His limp became progressively worse, and by the start of the second half he was wincing and hopping around on one foot.

Hill left with 8:30 left in the third period, and he played only 33 seconds the rest of the game.

"It's admirable he's out there trying to play," Mourning said. "But we're in a war right now. I'm really not concerned with it. We've got one of our warriors out, and they don't care about that."

Notes: Riley wore two bandage strips over his left eye, the result of an accident in his swimming pool. ... Before the game, Riley praised Lenny Wilkens, who resigned Monday as coach of the Atlanta Hawks. Wilkens and Riley rank 1-2 in career coaching victories. "He's got a pretty good resume," Riley said wryly. "I think he's going to get a job." ... Mourning had 21 more blocked shots this season than the entire Pistons team.

Related information
Mashburn steps up as Heat win opener
Pistons-Heat Game Summary
Alonzo Mourning says the Heat had no plans to take it easy on injured Pistons star Grant Hill. (214 K)
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