Professional Game Coverage: Detroit 104, Charlotte 97

Detroit News

Pistons take control of race for final playoff spot,” by Chris McCosky

Kwame Brown stuck his head into the media huddle surrounding Will Bynum following the Pistons’ 104-97 victory against the Charlotte Bobcats on Sunday and said, “You better say my name or I won’t set another pick for you the rest of the season. The lineman never gets any credit.”

No, on this night the credit goes to Bynum. With Richard Hamilton ejected and the Pistons trying to shake a three-game losing streak, Bynum scored 26 of his career-best 32 in the fourth quarter. That’s a new franchise record for points in a quarter, topping the old mark of 24 held by Isiah Thomas and Jerry Stackhouse.

“That’s really not me,” Bynum said. “That’s on my teammates and coaching staff. I don’t deserve all the credit. My teammates set the screens and my coaching staff believed in me enough to put the ball in my hands in the fourth quarter. I was just trying to do everything I could to win this game.”

Larry Brown: Allen Iverson can still play,” by Chris McCosky

As for whether he wants to coach Iverson again — they were together for six years in Philadelphia — he didn’t bite on that one.

“I don’t want to get into that right now because we don’t know what will happen with us in the draft or in free agency,” he said. “My thing is, some guys who are at the end of their careers you want to see go where they can win a championship. At this stage of Allen’s career, that has to be paramount in his mind. Anybody who thinks they are close (to winning a title), I wouldn’t be surprised if they stepped up and tried to get him.”

Detroit Free Press

Bynum puts his name in the record books and his team closer to playoffs,” by Carlos Monarrez

Bynum had struggled recently in the fourth quarter of games while spelling starting point guard Rodney Stuckey. Coach Michael Curry warned against Bynum trying to force a shot when the team’s offense struggled and instead suggested he get the ball to the team’s scorers.

But Bynum kept the ball all to himself and worked off screens, hitting running jumpers and floaters. Everything went through the net.

“Will was great all night,” Curry said. “… We ran the (pick-and-roll) with Will and (Tayshaun Prince) and I thought it went really well. (Bynum) made his free throws; that was huge. As I said, Will plays really good basketball as long as he doesn’t turn the basketball over and stays in front of his guy.”

Will power: Bynum breaks team record,” by Carlos Monarrez

Center Rasheed Wallace returned to the starting lineup for the first time in 15 games and had 12 points and a season-high six assists in 37 minutes. Wallace last started March 9 against Orlando, then missed the next 11 games with a strained left calf.

Coach Michael Curry made the decision to start Wallace after they spoke just before tip-off.

“He actually came to me before the game and just said he feels really good and he would like to start,” Curry said. “So I said, ‘OK.’ “

Instant replay,” by Carlos Monarrez

The magic number for the Pistons is two. The Pistons and Bobcats each have five games left. Any combination of two Detroit wins or two Charlotte losses clinches a playoff spot for the Pistons.

Booth Newspapers

Will Bynum carries Pistons with 26 in fourth quarter,” by A. Sherrod Blakely

 Jerry Stackhouse. Isiah Thomas. Will Bynum.

Yes, Bynum indeed is in select company following a career-best 32-point effort in Detroit’s 104-97 win against Charlotte on Sunday.

Bynum scored 26 of his points in the fourth quarter, the most ever by a Piston in any quarter of play.

Pistons’ Arron Afflalo comes through off the bench,” by A. Sherrod Blakely

Throughout Arron Afflalo’s career with the Detroit Pistons, rarely does he take center stage. But when called upon, the second-year guard usually comes through.

Sunday night was no different, as Afflalo’s 12 points off the bench played an important role in Detroit’s 104-97 win against Charlotte.

“It’s been a two-year thing, playing when available,” said Afflalo, who made each of his four shot attempts and three 3-pointers. “Mentally, trying to stay tough and smart with the whole situation to where I’m in a situation where the minutes are more stable.”

Charlotte Observer

Bobcats rally comes up short, playoff hope dims,” by Rick Bonnell

With Hamilton out, the Pistons relied heavily on a pick-and-roll offense featuring Bynum and Prince, which was a different look from what the Bobcats saw in the first three quarters.

“The thing that causes this team (Charlotte) the most problems, is dribble penetration,” Pistons coach Michael Curry said. “When we got some of it in the first half, they went to the zone and made us stagnant the beginning of the third quarter. When we got Will back in the game, he made it difficult for them to go back into the zone. He just kept attacking pick-and-roll situations.”

Bobcats feeling more pain,” by Rick Bonnell

There isn’t a while left. The Bobcats fell to 34-42, two games behind the idle Chicago Bulls for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Forward Gerald Wallace, who finished with 21 points and eight rebounds, described the fix they’re in with six games left.

“Now we’re in a (best-of-7) series and down 3-0,” Wallace said.

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