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Charlotte at Detroit

Hamilton scores 26 as Pistons surge late, defeat Bobcats

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Flip Saunders' recent postgame pep talk to Carlos Delfino wasn't complicated.

Keep playing with energy, the second-year Detroit Pistons coach told his reserve guard, and the playing time will take care of itself.

And when given the chance Friday night, Delfino made the most of his opportunity, fueling a fourth-quarter scoring surge in a 104-95 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.

"He's getting confidence in himself, the guys he's playing with are getting confidence in him and it gives us a lot of flexibility," Saunders said. "When we go small, we're pretty good."

Richard Hamilton scored 26 points for the Pistons, who have won five straight. Tayshaun Prince added 21 and Rasheed Wallace had 19.

Emeka Okafor had 23 points and Brevin Knight 16 for the Bobcats, who led 80-76 early in the fourth quarter. But the Pistons scored eight straight points, capped by Delfino's reverse lay-up with 7:04 remaining, to regain the lead for good.

The Pistons led 52-49 at halftime.

The Bobcats got within 86-85 on Adam Morrison's 3-pointer, but Chauncey Billups' 3-pointer and Delfino's dunk again provided the Pistons with breathing room. Wallace made a 3-pointer with 2:27 remaining that extended the lead to 98-89.

"(Detroit's) a well-balanced basketball team," Charlotte coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. "We made some critical mistakes. We had some shots that weren't the best and we turned the ball over in critical times."

The Pistons took advantage, outscoring Charlotte 30-27 in the fourth quarter. Detroit recovered from a sluggish start in which it committed turnovers on three of its first four possessions.

"We're still not executing as good as we could. We've got some lapses throughout the game," Billups said. "But our effort is good every single night."

And win streak or not, that's all Saunders expects.

"We could win 10 in a row and there's always room for improvement," Saunders said. "Winning five (straight) games - what that does mean -- is that your guys are doing some things and they're executing."

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Charlotte (3-9) 2722232395
Detroit (8-5) «30222230104
CHA:E. Okafor 23 Pts
CHA:E. Okafor 12 Reb
CHA:B. Knight 9 Ast
DET:R. Hamilton 26 Pts
DET:R. Wallace 9 Reb
DET:C. Billups 10 Ast
Players of the Game

R. Hamilton

E. Okafor

Related Video

R. Felton, PG435-120-057211
A. Morrison, SG415-102-231213
G. Wallace, SF402-148-1086212
E. Okafor, PF4010-183-4121223
S. May, F70-00-01000
B. Knight, PG336-94-439216
M. Carroll, SG208-120-122316
J. Voskuhl, C122-30-03024
B. Robinson, SG40-10-00300
O. Harrington, PFDid Not Play
P. Brezec, CDid Not Play
M. Ely, PFDid Not Play
A. Anderson, SGDid Not Play
R. Hollins, CDid Not Play
W. Herrmann, SFDid Not Play
Totals 38-7917-2137291595
R. Hamilton, SG399-208-866226
R. Wallace, PF387-122-292319
C. Billups, PG373-122-231019
T. Prince, SF359-141-235221
N. Mohammed, C235-71-170311
C. Delfino, PG203-40-02106
A. McDyess, PF171-50-06022
L. Hunter, SG132-42-21106
D. Davis, PF91-20-02112
R. Murray, SG91-30-00012
R. Dupree, SFDid Not Play
A. Johnson, PFDid Not Play
J. Maxiell, PFDid Not Play
W. Blalock, PGDid Not Play
Totals 41-8316-17392615104
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