Monroe, Knight lead Pistons over Bobcats 105-99
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[February 21, 2013]
(AP) -- Greg Monroe scored 10 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, stepping up with Brandon Knight on the bench nursing a hyperextended right knee, to lead the Detroit Pistons to a 105-99 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night.
Knight had 21 points before injuring his knee late in the third quarter.
Monroe then took over, finishing with seven rebounds and seven assists as the Pistons denied the Bobcats their first back-to-back wins since November.
Jose Calderon finished with 17 points for Detroit.
Kemba Walker led Charlotte with 24 points, and Ramon Sessions had 18 points and eight assists. Byron Mullens added 15 points for the Bobcats, who have the worst record in the NBA.
The Pistons opened an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter, but the Bobcats cut it to one before Monroe scored on a spinning inside move. Calderon put away the game with a pair of free throws with 21 seconds left
The Bobcats are now 20-100 since the start of the 2011-12 season.
The Pistons were coming off a 14-point loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night, a defeat that coach Lawrence Frank called "a real stinker."
The Pistons led 77-74 with 1:45 left in the third quarter when Knight was tripped up by Walker after he lost control of the ball in the lane.
Walker was called for a foul and Knight remained on the court for several minutes while being attended to by trainers before gingerly walking to the bench. Knight would return briefly in the fourth quarter for one possession before walking to the bench with a noticeable limp. He did not return.
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Monroe and Calderon accounted for Detroit's final 15 points.
The Bobcats entered the fourth quarter down 78-77 but the Pistons quickly built a double-digit lead after Kyle Singler's follow shot with seven minutes left in the game.
The Bobcats clawed back behind a pair of 3-pointers from Mullens and two nasty dunks by rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
But Charlotte could never seize the lead and dropped to 7-20 at home on the season.
Detroit hasn't looked sharp on the road, carrying a 6-18 record into the game. Frank was clearly worried about the Bobcats before the game, saying they posed similar problems as the Grizzlies, who beat them the night before.
But the Pistons looked sharp early, jumping out to an 11-point, first-quarter lead behind 11 points from Knight and three 3-pointers from Calderon.
The Bobcats came back to take a 56-55 lead at halftime on a turnaround jumper in the lane by Jeff Adrien. Sessions came up big for the Bobcats early with 14 points in the first half.
Rodney Stuckey added 12 points and seven rebounds off the bench for the Pistons.
Tyrus Thomas, one of Charlotte's highest-paid players, was inactive for the fourth straight game.
Press; By STEVE REED]
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