Detroit Pistons falter in 2nd half to lose to Charlotte, 118-107

Pistons forward Reggie Bullock, left, fouls Charlotte Hornets guard Nicolas Batum, right, as Pistons guard Ish Smith helps defend the basket during the first half Monday in Detroit. (AP photo)

By NOAH TRISTER
AP Sports Writer
DETROIT — Stephen Silas wrapped up his stint as Charlotte’s acting head coach with a win.
Kemba Walker scored 17 of his 20 points in the second half, and the Hornets pulled away in the fourth quarter of a 118-107 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Monday. Silas, Charlotte’s associate head coach, has been filling in for Steve Clifford, who has been out for more than a month for health reasons. Clifford will take over again Wednesday against Washington, and Silas was grateful to his players for their effort while he was in charge.
“I just told them how much I appreciated them and how they made it easy for me to coach them,” Silas said. “They had a decision to make. They could have either treated me as a substitute coach or treated me as someone who could really help them, and they did the latter.”
Dwight Howard had 21 points and 17 rebounds for the Hornets, who trailed 56-50 at halftime before dominating the final two quarters. A 10-0 run in the fourth put Charlotte ahead 106-88, and although Detroit answered with nine quick points in 43 seconds, the Hornets were never in much danger of losing down the stretch.
“If we aren’t going to guard, we aren’t going to win,” Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said. “That’s the whole story.”
Andre Drummond of the Pistons had only three points and 10 rebounds, and his day was summed up late in the fourth when he went up for a powerful, one-handed dunk — only to have Howard easily swat the ball away .
“It was huge matchup — literally. Two of the biggest dudes in the league,” Charlotte’s Marvin Williams said. “Drummond can be a load down there, but Dwight was definitely ready for the challenge.”
Tobias Harris scored 20 points for Detroit despite foul trouble.