– Detroit blows 20 point second half lead at home to the Charlotte Bobcats as their fourth quarter woes continue; outscored 41-17 in final quarter.
The Pistons came into Friday nights matinée with the Bobcats in high spirits. Coming off a road win over the Eastern Conference leading Pacers, and a 21 point comeback victory on the road at Boston. Two nights later, Detroit surrenders a 20 point lead of their own at home on the very night they could become the fourth team in the Eastern Conference to reach the .500 mark.
The Bobcats looked sluggish to start the game after starting small forward Jeff Taylor left the game 30 second in with an apparent Achilles injury. The injury was called “severe” by Bobcat doctors and as expected Taylor did not return.
Detroit took an early nine-point lead after one (31-22) at the Palace behind the strong aggressive play of Andre Drummond. Drummond would finish with 8 points and 6 rebounds after the opening period. The second quarter although, was controlled by the surprising burst of energy provided by none other than “Big Jorts” himself, Josh Harrellson.
Harrellson helped control the offensive glass as well as help space the floor with his perimeter jump shot. Josh finished the half with 12 points and 4 boards, as Detroit was in complete control heading into the break. The Pistons led the Bobcats 59-44 at the end of the second quarter.
After the halftime break, the Bobcats and Pistons played evenly throughout the third quarter, with the Bobcats taking a slight edge 31-30 in that third period heading to the final quarter. Down 89-75, Charlotte roared back to cut the lead to 7 (89-82) just three minutes into the fourth. Charlotte did not end their run there however, Lead by Ramon Sessions and Ben Gordon, the Bobcats bench pulled them to within 93-92 with still half a quarter to play.
Brandon Jennings (26 points and 5 assists) quickly answered with a pair of quick and easy baskets near the hoop to push the lead back to 5 (97-92) with 4 minutes to go, but that’s when their star big man Al Jefferson started to heat up. Jefferson scored 13 of his 24 points in the fourth, leading a furious comeback on the road.
The Bobcats ran their lead all the way up to 13 before Jennings final stopped the bleeding with a meaningless last second three pointer. Charlotte finished off the Pistons with a final score of 116-106, outscoring Detroit 41-17 in the fourth. With the win, Charlotte (13-14) moves to 5th in the Eastern Conference, dropping the Pistons (13-15) to 6th leaving them just a half game behind the Bobcats.
Detroit will look to bounce back against a tough Houston Rockets team Saturday night at home. Let’s hope the Pistons come out of the gate strong against Houston as they look to put this one in the back burner.