No Rodney Stuckey? No problem, the Pistons had the rejuvenated Tracy McGrady starting and blue-shoed Will Bynum back from injury. As a result, Detroit finally found the elusive win column this season with a 97-90 victory over the Larry Brown coached Charlotte Bobcats to end their worst start in 30 years.*
Aside from the first quarter, it wasn't pretty at all, but a win is a win is a win is a win [etc.]. After watching the Pistons blow late leads in four of the first five games, it doesn't really matter how it happened -- even if the Bobcats outscored the Pistons 75-65 in the final 36 minutes.
That first quarter, though, sure was nice (and useful). The Pistons shot the lights out (12-19), racked up half of their total number of assists, played staunch defense* and jumped out to a 32-15 lead when it was all said and done. The 32 points were the most the Pistons have put up in a first quarter this season and the 17-point lead allowed the Pistons to essentially coast the rest of the game.
Well, coasting would've been sufficient, but they almost had another colossal collapse a la the Bulls game last Saturday. Luckily, the Pistons nutted up and finished the third quarter on a 9-2 run, making their last four shots, including a Charlie Villanueva three-point buzzer-beater. Before the final 1:20 when the Pistons scored those nine points, they were shooting 3-16 with five turnovers and being outscored 23-6! That run to end the third quarter saved the game, me thinks.
In the fourth quarter, the Bobcats pulled as close as three, but, both times they closed the gap to three, Richard Hamilton answered by increasing the lead back to six (his only two makes of the night). The Pistons shot 6-16 in the final frame and turned it over too many times, but hit all 11 of their free throws, helping to seal the deal.
Again, it doesn't matter that the Pistons shot 36% for the final three quarters, all that matters tonight is they found themselves a W and finally cashed in on it. *phew*
A little more after the jump
- *MFMP's dirty fingerprints are all over this write up. We had a little miscommunication as to who was doing the recap, so we both started one. I was further along in mine, so I finished, but I tried to incorporate a lot of what he had already written.
- Rodney Stuckey was glued to the bench for the entire game. He was seen laughing, joking with teammates, quick to high-five teammates during timeouts and yawning.
- After the game, John Kuester said that Stuckey will be available on Sunday against the Warriors, but stopped short of saying if he would actually play. If he doesn't play, that wouldn't be any change from tonight, because Stuckey dressed and was technically available, too (as far as we knew).
- Who started in Stuckey's place? McGrady, and he played well in roughly 24 minutes. He shot 3-6, had 10 points, had two assists, two steals, and three rebounds. Zero turnovers.
- Will Bynum was seeing his first action of the season and played fine considering. He saw 22+ minutes, had two assists (opposite a turnover), three rebounds, a steal and six points on 2-9 shooting.
- Greg Monroe played stronnnnnng. 3-5 shooting, good for nine points, six rebounds and a block in just under 20 minutes. Extrapolate accordingly.
- Ben Gordon played 40+ minutes and scored 20 points on 7-16 shooting.
- Austin Daye got off to a hot start hitting two three-pointers in the first few minutes of the game, but only played five-plus minutes after the first quarter. What gives? Greg Monroe.
- Pistons still getting dominated down low -- Bobcats shot 19-24 at the rim. Pistons were 14-24.
- Pistons shot 7-13 from downtown. Bobcats shot 9-20.
- NBA.com Box score
- Advanced Box score
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