NBA: Pistons 104, Bobcats 97
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. ó Will Bynum didn’t want any attention. He just wanted a win.
He got both.
Bynum scored a franchise-record 26 points in the fourth quarter to lead Detroit to a 104-97 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Sunday that put the Pistons a step closer to locking up the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Bynum scored the final 13 points for the Pistons and finished with a career-high 32 points, and also had seven assists. He made all six of his field-goal attempts and went 14-for-16 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter.
“He was getting to the foul line and making plays,” Detroit’s Tayshaun Prince said. “He pretty much just won the game for us with his decision-making.”
Bynum said he wasn’t concerned with being the center of attention or the focus of the offense ó just with picking up an important victory.
“We definitely needed that game,” he said. “It doesn’t matter to me. I could have sat on the bench and scored two points and I still would have been up cheering, trying to get this win.
“If we got the win, I’d be satisfied no matter what happened.”
Bynum picked up the scoring load for Richard Hamilton, who led Detroit with 13 points before he was ejected at the end of the third quarter when he picked up his second technical foul.
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.”
The win was the third for Detroit in four meetings with Charlotte this season and leaves the Pistons three games ahead of the Bobcats with five games remaining in the race for the final playoff spot.
“We just have to execute better,” Charlotte coach Larry Brown said. “We had some really bad turnovers late, and when you have some empty possessions late in the game, you don’t have time to overcome that.
“We just need to keep getting better.”
D.J. Augustin led Charlotte with 22 points, including 14 in the fourth quarter. Raymond Felton added 18, while Boris Diaw and Emeka Okafor added 14 points each. Okafor pulled down 16 rebounds.
By Rob Maaddii Associated Press PHILADELPHIA ó The championship banner that’ll hang above Ashburn Alley and those shiny rings they’ll... read more