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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, December 20th (All times Eastern)

Charlotte Bobcats (12-14) at Detroit Pistons (13-14), 7:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Detroit Pistons will try to get to .500 on the season Friday night when they welcome the Charlotte Bobcats to The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Detroit has won two straight, both road victories over division leaders. The Pistons handed the Indiana Pacers their first home loss of the season on Monday, then toppled the Boston Celtics, 107-106 on Wednesday.

The C's led by as many as 21 points in Wednesday's affair, but the Pistons showed plenty of mettle. They allowed 42 points in the first quarter, but held the Celtics to 39 points in the second and third quarters.

"We picked our energy up, got back in the game," said Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks. "I thought we made plays, got our defense back, got set a little bit and that changed the game for us."

Brandon Jennings scored 28 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer.

After Jared Sullinger hit a 3-pointer to give Boston a 105-104 lead with 1:01 remaining, Jennings, who also handed out 14 assists, knocked one down at the other end for a two-point Detroit lead with 46.7 seconds left.

Sullinger missed one of two free throws later on but the Celtics still had a chance to win the game. Jeff Green was guarded closely by Josh Smith, however, after an inbounds pass with 5.0 ticks on the clock and Green missed a driving layup at the buzzer.

Josh Smith scored 20 points for Detroit, while Andre Drummond registered a double-double with 14 points and 16 rebounds. Greg Monroe (12) and Kyle Singler (11) also scored in double figures.

The Bobcats have also won two straight and their most recent victory was a thriller.

Kemba Walker hit the game-winning jumper as time expired in overtime to lift the Bobcats to a 104-102 win over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday.

The game turned into a comedy of errors, especially with missed free-throws and ill-timed fouls.

Coming out of a timeout, with the game tied, Walker curled off an Al Jefferson pick at the foul-line, received the inbound pass from Josh McRoberts and buried the 15-foot jumper on the baseline as the horn blew.

"One thing, I'm just getting to know him, but he's a competitor and it's contagious because it carries to his teammates," Charlotte coach Steve Clifford said of Walker.

The UConn product finished with 29 points and Jefferson added 24 points and 11 rebounds. McRoberts had 13, while both Gerald Henderson and Ramon Sessions added 11 apiece. Anthony Tolliver came off the bench with 10 points for the Bobcats, who shot 53 percent from long range.

The Pistons took three of four from the Bobcats last season and Charlotte is 4-12 in its last 16 appearances at The Palace.

12/20 10:17:23 ET

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