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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Stall tactics work as Pistons win, 19-18
By Larry Schwartz
Special to

Nov. 22, 1950

It's the big yawn. Fort Wayne Pistons coach Murray Mendenhall knows his team doesn't have the talent to compete with the Minneapolis Lakers, the defending NBA champions who have won their last 29 home games, and so he orders his team into a stall.

The Pistons lead 8-7 after the first quarter in Minneapolis, but trail 13-11 at the half. They continue to pass the ball around in the second half, while the Lakers sit back. Many in the crowd of 7,021 shout abuse at the Pistons and boo.

The Lakers lead 17-14 after three periods. Despite scoring only one point in the final quarter, they still have an 18-17 advantage late. But with six seconds left, rookie Larry Foust cuts to the basket, takes an in-bounds pass and lays it in over the outstretched arms of George Mikan to give Fort Wayne a 19-18 victory.

Mikan scores 15 of the Lakers' 18 points, and all four of their field goals (in 11 attempts). His teammates shoot 0-for-6 from the field.

After the lowest scoring game in NBA history, Lakers coach Johnny Kundla is boiling. "Play like that will kill professional basketball," he says.

It will not be until four years later, though, that the NBA will institute a 24-second clock.

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