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Pistons vs. Hornets final score: Pistons hold off late run, win fifth straight

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Detroit takes control from the opening tip to build cushion for playoffs.

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

It was only a seven-point win thanks to a complete letdown in the fourth quarter for the Pistons. But honestly, it wasn't that close. The Pistons spent most of the game clowning the Hornets, and even their late run was obviously going to be too little too late.

What is it about these two teams that leads to all of the blowouts?

The two times the Pistons faced the Hornets earlier this season, Charlotte won by 15 and 20 points. Last season the Pistons won by 28 and 39 points, and the Hornets got a 24-point win.

Steve Clifford is well known as a former Stan Van Gundy assistant. Shouldn't that mean these games should be close?

Oh, well. The Pistons got the huge win that they needed to build some cushion during the playoff race.

It looked like they would get a chance to coast to the finish line, resting up starters for the back-to-back against the Atlanta Hawks tomorrow night. But the late run from Charlotte canceled those hopes. Three starters finished under 30 minutes, but the two Pistons playing the biggest minutes on the season in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Marcus Morris still played big minutes tonight.

The Pistons dominated inside, ending the game with a 62-42 rebound margin and six blocked shots.

Andre Drummond seems to be turning things into playoff mode. He even paid more attention to the Bulls game last night than Rihanna. Dude. Tonight he finished with 18 points, 14 rebounds, and 3 blocks in just 29 minutes.

Morris and KCP also both had great games. Morris didn't keep up the 75 percent three point shooting that he carried in from the past four games, but he still finished with 20 points on 14 shots and 7 rebounds. Caldwell-Pope was excellent on both sides, his usual tenacious self. He filled the stat sheet with 21 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals.

Atlanta also played tonight, but the Pistons will at least have the luxury of not having to travel between games. The two teams tip tomorrow at 7:30 Eastern.

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