CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Marvin Williams scored 18 points and the Charlotte Hornets cruised to a 102-78 win over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.
Kemba Walker had 17 points and Gerald Henderson added 14 as the Hornets won for only the third time in 10 games to keep pace in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Charlotte entered the night two games behind eighth-place Brooklyn.
Before the game, Hornets center Al Jefferson had his knee drained for the third time in eight days. He finished with 11 points and nine rebounds, sitting out the fourth quarter because of the big lead.
Jodie Meeks led Detroit with 15 points. Andre Drummond was in early foul trouble and finished with 13 points and nine rebounds.
The Pistons, who had won five of six, shot 35.2 percent from the field and were 5 of 22 from 3-point range.
The Hornets opened the game playing with plenty of emotion and energy, something they lacked in a 12-point loss to Boston on Monday night.
Walker had 12 points in the first quarter on 5-of-7 shooting as the Hornets built a double-digit lead.
The Hornets got a break when Drummond picked up his third foul with 8:12 remaining in the second quarter and sat out the remainder of the first half. Charlotte took advantage, pushing the lead to 20 as Walker scored all 17 points before the break.
The Pistons had trimmed the lead to eight with 8 minutes left in the game when Drummond scored on an alley-oop dunk and drew a foul. But he missed the free throw, and the Hornets seemed to seize the momentum.
Charlotte went on a tear, pushing the lead to 23 behind a 3-pointer from Williams and an up-and-under move from Jefferson.
Mo Williams added 13 points and rookie P.J. Hairston had 12 off the bench for Charlotte (32-42).
The Hornets outscored Detroit 16-6 on fast-break points and forced 14 turnovers.
Reggie Jackson, a catalyst for the Pistons in recent weeks, was held to nine points — snapping a streak of 11 straight double-figure scoring games.
Pistons: Detroit’s reserves outscored its starters 28-17 in the first half.
Hornets: Jefferson took an elbow to the face from Drummond less than two minutes into the game that sent the 289-pounder to the floor. Jefferson remained in the game, and Drummond was given a flagrant 1 foul. … Lance Stephenson, the team’s top free-agent pickup this past offseason, didn’t play for the second straight game.
Pistons: At Chicago on Friday night.
Hornets: At Indiana on Friday night.