Charlie Villanueva scored on a driving layup with 15 seconds left, as the Detroit Pistons ended their 10-game losing streak with a 92-91 win over the Charlotte Bobcats. Villanueva had 14 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter and Jason Maxiel added 14 points. Villanueva answered every run made by the Bobcats and had one of his better outings of the year.
The Bobcats had a chance to win the game, but Kemba Walker missed his shot. Josh McRoberts recovered the miss, but couldn’t put it back before time expired. Walker led the Bobcats with 25 points. McRoberts suffered a shoulder injury earlier in the game, but returned and finished with four points, nine rebounds and two steals in 25 minutes. Jannero Pargo had 16 points off the bench and Bismack Biyombo finished with a double double.
Charlotte shot 42.7% from the field and just above 23% from three. Gerald Henderson had 15 points, scoring only two points in the second half. Henderson came into the game averaging just under 23 points in his last seven games and showing a full arsenal of offensive moves in his hot stretch.
Despite the game not being as good as his past games during his stretch, Henderson continues to look very confident and he and Walker have become a very productive backcourt. One of the big questions that will come at the end of the season is whether Walker and Henderson is a backcourt the Bobcats can build around. It’s still young enough, athletic enough and now potent offensively to work.
The Bobcats won two games a row coming into tonight against the struggling Pistons. The Pistons beat the Bobcats in Charlotte in their last meeting, and have matched up well with the Bobcats in the season series. Detroit shot 45.6% from the field and 38.5% from three on 26 attempts. Jose Calderon continued his sharpshooting in the Motor City, making three of five attempts and finishing with 11 points.
It’s a tough loss for the Bobcats, who’ve struggled in fourth quarter situations all year. While it’s easy to blame Charlotte for the loss, the Pistons just as easily earned this win themselves, especially coming off a back-to-back against Miami. The Bobcats will make their own visit to Miami tomorrow when they face the defending NBA Champion Miami Heat. The Heat have won 25 games in a row and are a large overdog going into tomorrow’s game. While it would certainly be a thriller for the Bobcats to end Miami’s historical run, it’s going to be an extremely difficult task on the road.