You knew one of these teams was going to blow the other one out. That's the way it's gone this season between Stan Van Gundy and his former assistant Steve Clifford. They've taken turns kicking ass.
All four of the teams' meetings have come down the stretch of the season, with the Pistons winning the first by 28 points in February. After a tight win by the Hornets in March, the Hornets got their blowout on April 1 by 24 points.
In their final matchup, the Pistons laughed last and laughed best.
Charlotte was already reeling, losing four of their last five to bow out of the Eastern Conference playoff race. They've now lost their last three games by a total of (game + 42 points). In case you were wondering why the Pistons were the -7.5 favorite.
Detroit set the tone early, jumping out to a quick 13-2 lead. The bench came out on fire, led by Anthony Tolliver and Jodie Meeks, and by the time the dust cleared, the Pistons were up 30-10.
From there, Detroit dominated in just about every way possible.
Shooting: Without Al Jefferson or Lance Stephenson, the Hornets were left without much in the way in offensive talent. Well, I guess you could say the talent they were left with was offensive, but they couldn't make baskets.
They finished the game shooting 34 percent, including 26 percent from three and 65 percent from the line.
Meanwhile, the Pistons offered up the 50/57/78 line.
Greg Monroe put up a hell of a game with 17 points on just 10 shots, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and a blocked shot.
Meeks had one of his best games of the season, finishing with 24 points on 8-12 shooting. Tolliver finished with17 points in just 19 minutes, with 6-7 shooting and 5 of those buckets from behind the arch.
Even Shawne Williams was making buckets, if that tells you anything.
Rebounds: Andre Drummond came out aggressive and finished with 19 rebounds. He was excellent all around, also adding 15 points, 4 assists, and 2 blocked shots.
The rebounding spread ended at 56-33 in favor of the Pistons.
Ball movement: Reggie Jackson was one of the few players having trouble getting his shot to fall, but unlike many poor games he's had where he's had trouble stepping back and turning into a distributor, he did so today. He finished with only 5 points, but had 13 assists with only 2 turnovers.
Detroit more than doubled Charlotte's assist total 33 to 16.
Van Gundy cleared the bench early, getting the lightly used and promising prospect Quincy Miller on the floor. Miller finished with 6 points, 4 rebounds in 27 minutes.
The Pistons should be well-rested for their back-to-back tomorrow night in Cleveland, as they face a Cavs team that's also coasting down the stretch. They rested LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love as they were blown out against the Boston Celtics earlier today.