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Jefferson's big night helps Bobcats beat Pistons
Auburn Hills, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Al Jefferson stuffed the stat sheet with 32 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists to lead the Charlotte Bobcats to a 108-96 win over the Detroit Pistons in the opener of a home-and-home set.
Kemba Walker added 22 points, Josh McRoberts scored 14 to go with 10 rebounds and Gerald Henderson and Ramos Sessions finished with 12 points apiece for the Bobcats, winners in five of their last eight games.
Brandon Jennings led the Pistons with 24 points and seven assists and Greg Monroe scored 18 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.
"We of course didn't have the same start we had our last two games. Our energy level didn't match theirs," said Pistons coach John Loyer. "You come out and give a team however many they made in a row to start the game, confidence, energy; puts you in a hole.
Andre Drummond, who took home MVP honors in Friday's Rising Stars game, scored 16 points and pulled down 22 rebounds for Detroit, which has dropped its last two after winning three straight.
Josh Smith also chipped in with a double-double of 12 points and 11 boards in the setback.
The Bobcats opened the game on an 18-8 run. The Pistons scored six straight to pull within four, 20-16, but Charlotte restored its double digit advantage and led 32-21 after 12 minutes.
"I liked our readiness to start the game which really ended up being the difference. We ended up I think plus-11 after the first quarter and that ended up being pretty much the margin," said Bobcats coach Steve Clifford. "I thought our starters did a good job. When the guys off the bench came in the first half they did a good job also."
The Bobcats led by as many as 15 in the second quarter, but Jennings scored for straight points to close the half to make it 54-43 at the break.
A Sessions layup with 2:43 remaining in the third gave Charlotte its largest lead of the game, 77-58, but Detroit closed the quarter on a 9-2 run to make it 79-67 entering the fourth quarter.
Walker's 3-pointer early in the fourth gave the Bobcats an 82-67 lead, but saw that spread dwindle to just eight points, 89-81, when Jennings knocked down a triple from the corner.
Charlotte quickly pushed its spread back to double digits and never saw its lead dip below eight the rest of the way.
Charlotte has taken three of the last four games in Auburn Hills ... Both sides had just seven turnovers ... Drummond tied a career high with 22 boards ... Charlotte shot 52 percent from the floor ... The Bobcats were just 13- for-23 from the free throw line.
02/18 23:46:20 ET
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