Bench Play, Takeaways Lead To Another Hornets’ Road Win In Detroit

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Oubre Scores 25+ PTS Again; Richards Comes Up Big Following Williams’ Thumb Injury

An energetic start combined with some second-half runs and a couple key contributions off the bench put the Charlotte Hornets in excellent position for a road-trip-closing 113-103 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Thursday night.

Kelly Oubre Jr. led the way for the visitors with a game-high 27 points on 9-of-16 shooting, four rebounds, two assists and four 3-pointers, the final one of which was the 800th of his career. Terry Rozier added 21 points, nine assists, two steals and two blocks without committing a single turnover, marking the first time this season he’s had consecutive games with a giveaway.

Charlotte rode a 15-4 run across halftime to take a 70-55 lead early in the third quarter and eventually closed the frame leading by 10. A 13-5 stretch to open the fourth pushed the advantage to 18, but the Pistons wouldn’t go quietly and eventually got back to within 10 with 5:20 remaining. That would be the closest they got though, as the purple and teal pieced together enough shots, stops and long possessions down the stretch to close things out.

PJ Washington tallied 20 points, two steals and three blocks to join Oubre and Rozier in the 20-point club. Charlotte’s rotation got a little disheveled early on after Mark Williams suffered a right thumb sprain that he attempted to play through before exiting the game for good at halftime. Nick Richards then stepped up with 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting, 10 rebounds – good for his first double-double since Dec. 19 – and two blocks, with fellow reserve Dennis Smith Jr. totaling 14 points on 7-of-10 shooting and three steals.

“It starts with a good attitude,” said Hornets Head Coach Steve Clifford afterwards, when asked about the team notching back-to-back road wins for the first time since mid-January. “Guys hanging in the games. The key stretch tonight was the beginning of the fourth quarter, where a bunch of guys did a good job. Dennis was really the catalyst. It’s never easy to win on the road and these are two good wins.”

Added Washington, “Credit to our guys for being ready and coming in to play, especially Nick. He did a great job coming in and filling his role. Kai [Jones] had some great minutes, as well. I’m just glad those guys were able to come in and shine in the absence of Mark.”

The Hornets shot 50.0%– their highest single-game efficiency since LaMelo Ball’s season-ending ankle fracture – and scored 18 points off 19 Detroit turnovers, while allowing under 110 points for the sixth time in seven outings. The only two blemishes for Charlotte were really the 13 missed free throws (19-of-32; 59.4%) and the Pistons converting 17 offensive rebounds into 21 second-chance points.

Rookie Jaden Ivey had 16 points, six assists and a career-high seven turnovers for the Pistons, who lost for the 13th time in 14 games. James Wiseman also had an identical 16 points and 13 rebounds for his second double-double of the campaign and veteran reserve Cory Joseph registered a season-high 17 points, 14 of which came in the third quarter.

The Hornets will now tip off a season-long five-game homestand starting with the Utah Jazz on Saturday, March 11 beginning at 7 PM ET. Follow all the action on Bally Sports Southeast and WFNZ 92.7 FM.