Detroit drops third straight to Charlotte, 98-86

CHARLOTTE, NC - FEBRUARY 25: Stanley Johnson
CHARLOTTE, NC - FEBRUARY 25: Stanley Johnson /

The Detroit Pistons dropped their third straight loss to the Charlotte Hornets, as they seem to have the Detroit Pistons number.

The Detroit Pistons drop their third straight to Charlotte on the season.  The Pistons had a sluggish game but were able to stay in it for the most part.  Unfortunately, the fourth quarter belonged to the Hornets tonight.

These two teams came into tonight’s game as the sixth and seventh seed in the east.  The Hornets now jump the Pistons to take over the sixth spot with a 98-86 victory.  Detroit did not look like themselves tonight.  Andre Drummond, who wasn’t feeling the best still made his presence felt, but it wasn’t enough.  He finished 17 points and 16 rebounds.  Blake Griffin tried to do his best, but the Pistons did not back up Griffin tonight.  Griffin finished with 23 points.

The Pistons lost this game in the first quarter, though they went on spurts to cut into the deficit, the Hornets proved to be the better team tonight.  The Hornets won every quarter and Marvin Williams contributed to that in a big way.

Williams was 7-11 behind the arc finishing with 24 points.  With Williams having the game he had and Kemba Walker making the right plays at the point, the Hornets deserved to win.  Walker really stepped up in the fourth as he finished with 22 points, hitting some big three’s down the stretch.

The Hornets had a total of five players score in double figures to help secure the win.  Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Willy Hernangomez stepped up and sparked Charlotte’s bench play. Jeremy Lamb, who had a slow three quarters, came alive in the fourth as he finished with 11 points.

Let’s look how the game went from the second half to the first.

What happened

Second Half

Dwane Casey rested his starters to start the fourth and looked for his bench to  bring his team back in the game.

Rookie Bruce Brown was ready to play in the fourth as he was able to convert on the offensive side.  Brown had a key three in the fourth to cut the Pistons deficit to seven.  With about seven minutes to play, Casey turned toward his four starters minus Kennard but plus Stanley Johnson and this lineup did not waste any time.

Detroit used a 8-0 run to cut Charlotte’s lead to three points at 81-78 with five minutes to play on an and one from Reggie Jackson.  Charlotte helped Detroit out, committing five turnovers in the fourth and going cold from the field.

Lamb, who struggled most of the game, hit a big three for the Hornets to extend the lead to eight with four minutes to play.  Walker made two key plays, one on defense and offense as he stripped the ball from Drummond in the paint and came down the court to make a nice behind the back move on Bullock to hit a three to extend the Hornets lead to double digits.

The Hornets wasted no time to start the second half. Williams was the hot man as he could not miss from behind the arc.  He scored 13 points in the third to bring his total to 21 on the game going 6-10 from behind the arc.  Even with a defender in his face, that did not phase Williams.

Detroit had some work to do in the third and Charlotte was not making it easy. Reggie Bullock started to get going as he hit the first shot to start the third for Detroit.  From there, the Detroit Pistons were running the offense through Bullock, as he was able to hit a few jumpers off screens and also make the right pass.

Drummond picked it up in the third as he continued to dominate on the glass as well as in the paint.  He was scrappy in that paint, getting position for rebounds as he finished the third with six points and five rebounds.

Jose Calderon gave Detroit some life off of the bench as well, as he was able to connect on two big three pointers to keep Detroit in the game.

Charlotte controlled most of the third, but Detroit was not going to give up as they kept chipping away at the deficit. Johnson, who struggled in the first half, hit a much needed three as the time expired to end the third for his first points of the game.

First Half

Drummond picked it up in the second quarter, as he was a work horse on the glass and was able to score off a few put backs to keep the Pistons in the flow of the game.

Turnovers really hurt the Pistons in the first half, especially in transition.  There were multiple times where Detroit made a good defensive stand against Charlotte, but on transition got careless with the ball.  Charlotte took advantage of Detroit’s mishaps as led by as many as 14 points in the second.

Down 34-24 with 8:42, Detroit was able to find some life.  With the help of Blake and Andre, the Pistons used a 14-5 run to end the second as they trailed 45-40.  Drummond collected his double double (11 points & 11 rebounds) in the second and Griffin led the team with 13 points.

Charlotte used some help from its bench as they had two players with eight points (Kidd-Gilchrist & Hernangomez).

Williams also had eight points and Walker led the team with 11 points at the half.

The Pistons bench was no where to be found, Johnson, who had multiple open looks, just could not get anything to fall.

Both teams got off to a slow start to begin the game.  It seemed as though Detroit still looked somewhat fatigued from the Minnesota game.

The Pistons started the game off 0 for 6 from the field.  I mean, they could not buy a basket.

Walker made his presence felt early in the game, as he was getting to the rim and finishing with no problem, showing the Pistons why he is one of the top guards in the league.  Walker finished with nine points in the first.

Let’s be honest, Detroit looked out of sync in the first.  You have to tip your cap to the Hornets defense as Detroit could not find a way to penetrate the lane and instead settled for outside shooting.

Nothing could go for the Pistons as they had good looks, but could not convert.  The only bright spot for Detroit in the first was Griffin, who put the team on his back. Griffin got to the paint at will, and used his strength to finish at the basket.  He had seven first quarter points and though the Pistons didn’t play the best, only trailed 25-21 after one.


Detroit looked very stagnant on the offensive side, running a lot of motions and really no help from the bench.

Luke Kennard has to step it up, he was a non factor tonight with a goose egg on the scoreboard.  The Detroit Pistons have to get some offensive production from Kennard, because they know he can score the ball.

Shout out to Drummond on playing the way he played. Battling the flu, as he had another double-double performance.

Griffin just keeps doing what he does. However, he needs help from his teammates.

Hopefully, Detroit will not have another shooting performance like this, because they can’t win games shooting under 40% from the field and 23% from the three, and not to mention going 14-22 from the charity strike.

The Detroit Pistons need to learn from this short road trip and come back better and stronger.