Detroit Pistons rally but fall to Charlotte Hornets on highway, 105-102
After a seven-day hiatus for the All Star hiatus, the Detroit Pistons ran out of energy against the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday.
They found their stand before halftime and used the runs in the second and third quarters to turn a 16-point deficit into a possible lead.
However, they couldn’t finish the victory.
Two clutch shots from Terry Rozier – a 3-pointer 54 seconds ahead and a midrange driver with 9 seconds remaining – gave the pistons (10-27) a road loss of 105-102. Jerami Grant led Detroit with 32 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Saddiq Bey added 14 points and hit four of his nine 3-point attempts.
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The butts looked sluggish as they fell double digits in the first quarter, making avoidable sales, and missing wide-open shots. They shot 38.5% and only 2-13 from behind during the reporting period.
Their first impulse came in the middle of the second when they used a 12-2 run to bring the deficit down to six. It carried over to the third quarter when they took the lead at 22-8. Detroit prevailed against the Hornets (33-25) in the third game.
Grant hit a couple of late 3-pointers to help the pistons hold off a possible Hornets run. Isaiah Stewart, who finished on seven points and eight rebounds, also hit a late 3-pointer – only the second mark of his NBA career – to give the Pistons a 3:24 lead of 93-90.
Wright returns after a two-week absence
Wright was in the process of settling down as a point guard before suffering a groin strain against the Memphis Grizzlies on February 19.
He returned and started on Thursday. Wright had a quiet night with just five points and four assists in 22 minutes. In his seven pre-injury games, he averaged 6.7 points (61.8% shooting, 55.6% of 3), 6.1 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.4 steals.
Stewart extends his reach
All season long, Stewart’s potential as an outside shooter was boosted. After the games, he was often seen recording with a coach. Dwane Casey has expressed confidence that the shot will eventually become an important part of his game. On Tuesday, Troy Weaver said he could envision Stewart playing power forward alongside Mason Plumlee – an arrangement that would surely only work if Stewart could clear the ground.
Before Thursday, Stewart had tried five 3-pointers and made one. He made his lone attempt against the Hornets, and it was a clutch that gave the pistons a late 93-90 lead. He also met a 12-foot turnaround jumper in the second quarter.
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