On Monday night in the Queen City, some of the Pistons went to see the movie Kingsman: The Secret Service. On Tuesday night, the Pistons played like emphatic Kings, taking down the buzzless Hornets by 28, 106-78. The win pulled the Pistons within a game and a half of the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference.
After a slow start and 11 lead changes, the Pistons closed out the first half on a 12-3 run (8-0 in the final 1:20) to take a 54-46 lead they wouldn't brake on. In the third, they stepped on the gas pedal, outscoring the Hornets 29-14 to push the lead to 23 going into the fourth. The lead accelerated to 31 before ending at 28.
After giving up over 110 points in four of the last 10 games, 78 points seems incomplete and surreal. But the Pistons played a full 48 minutes of solid basketball on Tuesday night, taking care of the ball (only eight turnovers), rebounding (48-38) and controlling the paint (50-32). Al Jefferson, who has killed the Pistons over the years, only scored 13 points on 14 shots.
The Hornets started the game hitting 73 percent of their three-pointers, way more than twice their 31 percent season average, but they predictably regressed in the second half by only hitting 7 percent of their threes. The Pistons only took four threes in the second half, hitting only one like the Hornets, but the Pistons hit 10 more free throws (17-7).
Greg Monroe was an all-out beastly Moose with 23 points and 12 rebounds (all in three quarters), including this third quarter buzzer beater. Jodie Meeks had 18 points off the bench on eight shots. Anthony Tolliver added 16 in 25 reserve minutes. D.J. Augustin had 18 points and five assists opposite only one turnover early in the game.
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