The Bobcats used a 20-1 run spanning the third and fourth quarters to defeat the Pistons 97-87 in Detroit on Wednesday night. Stephen Jackson poured in a season-high 39 points (14-26 FG, 3-7 3PT, 8-10 FT) to lead the Cats as they finished their 6-game road trip at 4-2. The Cats are now 21-27 and hanging on to the 8th playoff spot heading into a brutal three game home-stand against Miami, Dallas and Boston.
The last game of a long road trip is always dangerous; it’s human nature for the mind to start wandering towards putting the keys in your own door and sleeping in your own bed whilst being blown out. But with Rodney Stuckey and Jason Maxiell out with injuries, Rip Hamilton exiled to the end of the bench, and their fans stuck at home under a foot of snow, the Pistons were hardly in position to take advantage of a possible letdown by the Bobcats anyways.
Stephen Jackson got the Bobcats off to a nice start despite DJ Augustin’s early foul trouble. Sherron Collins picked up seven first quarter minutes and played well, going 2-2 from the field and presiding over a 19-11 Bobcats run. The Cats maintained a small lead through the second quarter as Jack poured in the buckets and Kwame Brown hit the boards.
The Pistons came out strong after halftime and ran out to an 8 point lead before the Bobcats calmed things down. Towards the end of the third quarter, down 65-64, the Bobcats embarked on their epic run. Amidst a barrage of jumpers from Steven Jackson and dunks/layups from Kwame Brown, Gerald Henderson and Nazr Mohammed, the Pistons couldn’t get anything going.
Up 84-66 with 8 minutes left after Jackson’s three free throws capped the run, the Bobcats took their foot off the gas a bit. The Pistons went on a small run of their own to cut the lead to 7 with three minutes left, but Jack put an end to that with a strong drive into a layup. From there, a few DJ Augustin free throws iced the game.
- Quick and easy numbers: The Bobcats shot 50.7% to the Pistons 43.6%, outrebounded the Pistons 46-30, and went 20-25 at the line to the Pistons 12-17.
- Quintessential Boris Diaw line: 36 minutes, 0 points on 0-3 FG, 4 rebounds, 9 assists/2 turnovers, and a team high plus-minus of +15. Just embrace it.
- Quiet game for DJ after his early foul trouble trying to match up against the stronger Ben Gordon. DJ scored 5 points in the final 46 seconds to get to double digits at 10 — but overall didn’t play well. Nice to see that the Bobcats could get a win despite that.
- Another double-double for Kwame Brown: 14 points/10 rebounds.
- So while the quality of the opponents (Sacramento by 5, Phoenix by 7, Golden State by 8 in OT, Detroit by 10) leaves something to be desired, a 4-2 road trip is a pretty impressive feat for this team. As noted above, the Bobcats now face a three game home-stand against a murderers row of opponents: Miami on Friday, Dallas on Saturday, and Boston on Monday, all 7 PM ET starts.
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