The Pistons snapped their five-game losing streak on the road tonight, taking a victory over the Charlotte Hornets that ended up making a statement.
It wouldn't be of any importance, their poor performance in the opening minutes of the game, because the top players on Detroit's roster picked things up, pulling within one as the buzzer to end the first sounded in the Time Warner Cable Arena.
Taking a 27-26 lead over Detroit into the second, the Charlotte Hornets, a basketball team compiled of young players, looked to at least keep the score close. As the second began, it didn't seem like that would be too much of a problem for the home team, as a tight game seemed to be in the works. As the first half ticked away, though, Detroit began to pick it up, and Charlotte began to seemingly not do all too much about it.
The play of the game came within the final four minutes of the first half, with D.J. Augustin throwing the ball up the court and up in the air for Andre Drummond to grab, one armed, and bring from what seemed like the upper bowl of the arena and slam for an impressive alley-oop. This play was part of an 8-0 run by the Pistons to close out the half, helping toward their eight-point lead that they took into the second half.
The third quarter began with a Pistons lead of 54-46 being just the starting point for what would become the statement-making win for Detroit that it was. Another late-quarter surge saw them enter the final quarter of Tuesday evening's game with a 13-point lead, 83-70. In fact, it was a 14-2 run for Detroit to close out the third; this was where Charlotte began to fall apart a bit.
Not even four minutes had been played in the fourth before Detroit had extended their lead that was 13 entering the final quarter to a sudden 20-point advantage. With half of the fourth gone, their lead was up to 28. Then Charlotte would turn the ball over or fail to knock down a shot, and Detroit would take it back for two of their own. 31 is where their lead peaked, with time running out in the fourth when Detroit was 28 points ahead of the Hornets - for their largest margin of victory yet this season.
The Detroit Pistons will face off against the Charlotte Hornets three more times this season, but they will have a bit of confidence when doing so after tonight's statement win. That statement may well just be something along the lines of, "This is a playoff-worthy team."
Charlotte is ahead of Detroit by a few games in the Eastern Conference standings; Charlotte was tied with Miami for seventh, but drop to eight after tonight.
Three different Pistons scored double digits. Kyle Singler was not one of them, but he knocked down some important shots in the early stages of the game. Although Stan Van Gundy has been getting on his team's case about their performance on the defensive side of the court, tonight did not call for any sort of post-game chewing out - and after tonight's performance, they got the opposite from their coach.
After the Pistons' last game, a game that was in total control of the Minnesota Timberwolves with a deplorable defensive effort for Detroit, this was a great way to bounce back, and perhaps a great way to earn some confidence and momentum heading into the All-Star break. Detroit has only one game left before the break is upon them.
The Detroit Pistons (21-32) will travel back home for a pivotal game against the reigning champion San Antonio Spurs (33-19). Watch for the LIVE here on VAVEL to bring you tip-off to buzzer, minute to minute coverage of the game beginning at 7:30 pm EST - followed by the recap.