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Bullets Can't Climb Hill Guarded By Pistons' Bench
23 February 1997. Detroit Pistons 85, Washington Bullets 79 (record: 24-30)
Game leaders: Webber, Strickland (19 points), Webber (12 rebounds), Strickland (9 assists)
Once again, the Bullets just can't do it against the Pistons. Detroit has swept the season series with the Bullets, 4-0. I guess you can call that a domination, and it shows why the Bullets are 24-30 and the Pistons are 40-13.
It definitely helps when you have a player who can single-handedly dominate a game like Grant Hill. The Bullets truly don't have a player like that. But on an afternoon like today, when Grant had a sub-par performance, the Bullets were unable to stop the support players of the Pistons - in particular, Aaron McKie (16 points) and Terry Mills (14 points, 14 rebounds).
To The Playoffs Or Not? The Bullets have now lost 9 of their last 11 games. They're 6 games under .500, 4 games behind Orlando for the 8th spot. The Bullets are rapidly fading from playoff contention, says Washington Post sports columnist Michael Wilbon.
The Bullets got a nice lift from the return of Chris Webber from his back injury - he produced 19 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 blocked shots - but the hustle wasn't always there, especially in the third quarter when they were outscored 26-15.
However, the Bullets almost regained the lead in the fourth. They had whittled a 10 point Pistons lead to 1 point, then the Bullets had a fastbreak with the ball in Howard's hands. However, he badly missed the layup and McKie grabbed the miss among three Bullets players. Detroit scored the next 8 points, and the Bullets never got close again.
What next? Luckily, a few more home games - against the Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Lakers, and Golden State Warriors. Unfortunately, the Bullets have a lot of catching up to do.
wtf 25 February 1997
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