CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Jonas Jerebko tied a career high with 22 points and the Detroit Pistons won the race to three victories Friday night against the Charlotte Bobcats, 98-81.
Both teams entered the game with identical 2-9 records and on lengthy losing streaks: the Bobcats having lost five straight and the Pistons six in a row.
The Pistons were able to snap their streak behind the inside play of Jerebko and Greg Monroe, who chipped in with 19 points and nine rebounds. The Pistons dominated inside, scoring 50 points in the paint through the first three quarters to open a 78-59 lead.
This one wasn't even close as the Pistons led by 12 at the half and pushed it to 21 in the fourth quarter as the Bobcats never mounted a serious challenge.
The Pistons got numerous uncontested shots in the middle and made the most of them. shooting 49 percent from the field. All five starters finished in double digits for the Pistons, including Ben Gordon with 14 and Brandon Knight with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Jerebko, from Sweden, tied his previous career high of 22 back in 2009. He also had nine rebounds.
Byron Mullens led Charlotte with 18 points, the eighth time in 10 games he's reached double digits. Mullens, making his second start at center, had 12 points in the first half on 7 of 14 shooting.
Mullens remains one of the few bright spots for the Bobcats, who continue to struggle with their shooting and their toughness inside. Prior to the game, coach Paul Silas questioned his team's toughness and once again his team didn't respond.
It was yet another quiet night for Charlotte's Boris Diaw, who was held to three points after being held scoreless against the Atlanta Hawks the night before. Diaw, who has become a source of frustration for Silas, attempted just two shots from the field.
The Pistons got several easy layups driving the lane, and Jerebko and Monroe tore apart Charlotte's defense with some great interior passing. When the Pistons weren't dominated in the paint, Gordon was hitting open shots from the wing.
Kemba Walker had 16 points and D.J. Augustin had 13 assists for Charlotte.
Once again, the Bobcats were beat up on the boards, with the Pistons holding a 46-34 edge.
It was the Bobcats' fourth game in five days and they looked like a very lethargic team. They complete a back-to-back-to-back Saturday night against Golden State.
The Pistons host the Warriors on Sunday.