Bobcats storm past Pistons in 4th, win 116-106

Al Jefferson found a groove just in time for the Charlotte

Bobcats.

Jefferson scored 15 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter, and

the Bobcats overtook the Detroit Pistons for a 116-106 victory

Friday night. Charlotte trailed by 20 in the second quarter and by

14 heading into the fourth.

”I don’t know what was going on in the first half,” Jefferson

said. ”It just got to a point where I’d had enough. I just had to

go out there and do what I can do.”

Kemba Walker scored 34 points for Charlotte and Gerald Henderson

added 22, but the fourth quarter belonged to Jefferson. With

Detroit up 99-94, the 6-foot-10 center scored six straight points

for the game’s first and only lead change.

Then Walker added a 3-pointer from in front of the Detroit bench

to make it 103-99. Jefferson scored Charlotte’s next seven points

on a jumper, a three-point play and a 20-footer that made it

110-102.

Brandon Jennings had 26 points for Detroit, which rallied from a

21-point deficit to beat Boston on Wednesday but blew a big lead

two nights later.

”When Al gets into that kind of rhythm, with his offensive

game, I’m not sure anyone is going to stop him,” Pistons coach

Maurice Cheeks said. ”We really struggled with their dribble

penetration. That had been getting better, but they were able to

get their guards to the basket too easily. After that, they just

started going to Jefferson in the post and steamrolled us.”

Down 89-75, the Bobcats scored the first nine points of the

fourth quarter to get back in the game. Charlotte ended up with 72

points in the second half and outscored the Pistons 41-17 in the

final quarter.

The Pistons lost despite shooting 12 of 23 from 3-point

range.

Charlotte won even though forward Jeff Taylor played less than a

minute before going down with a right Achilles injury. Taylor left

the game after only 37 seconds. He stayed down for a while after

the injury to his right leg and could be heard groaning in pain

before he was eventually helped off the court.

Taylor is expected to undergo further testing Saturday.

The Bobcats have won three straight. Jefferson equaled a season

high in scoring that he’d set in an overtime win over Toronto on

Wednesday.

”He played great tonight,” Charlotte’s Cody Zeller said. ”He

made some tough shots and carried us in the fourth quarter. He was

able to play his game tonight and got good looks down in the

post.”

Josh Smith scored 18 points for Detroit, and Josh Harrellson

scored all 12 of his in the second quarter.

The 6-foot-10 Harrellson looked like he was auditioning for a

blooper video when he missed three straight layups during one

sequence in the final minute of the first quarter. Those ended up

being his only misses of the first half.

Kyle Singler and Chauncey Billups made 3-pointers to start the

second quarter, giving the Pistons a 37-22 lead. Harrellson added a

16-footer moments later, the first of five consecutive shots he

would make in the quarter, including two 3-pointers.

Detroit led 52-32 after an alley-oop from Will Bynum to Andre

Drummond, but there was enough time for the Bobcats not only to win

– but in convincing fashion.

”It’s real big, especially for a team like us, trying to prove

ourselves,” Jefferson said. ”We came back from 20 points down and

we just kept fighting, and stayed together.”

NOTES: Detroit G Rodney Stuckey (sore right shoulder) did not

play. … The Bobcats are still without F Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

(broken left hand). … Charlotte went 25 of 28 on free throws. …

The last team to rally from at least 20 points behind for a victory

– then blow a lead of at least 20 for a loss in the next game was

Orlando in 2001, according to STATS. The Magic came back from a

20-point deficit to beat Chicago on Jan. 15, 2001, then blew a

22-point lead in a loss to Dallas three days later.