Rugby World Cup
This Week's Issue
Life of Reilly
SI for Women
CNN/SI - TV
Golf Pro Shop
MLB Gear Store
NFL Gear Store
SI FOR KIDS
Hornets edge Pistons, win fifth straight
Posted: Wednesday April 14, 1999 11:15 PM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Even on an off night, the Charlotte Hornets found a way to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.
"We don't have much margin for error, but games like this help," Charlotte's David Wesley said after the Hornets blew an early 17-point lead before closing the game with an 11-3 run for an 83-79 victory over Detroit on Wednesday night.
Charlotte, which began the night 2 1/2 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, extended its best winning streak of the season to five games.
"I like our position right now," coach Paul Silas said. "We've just got to keep winning."
Wesley had five of his eight points and one of his seven assists in the final 2:09 as Charlotte recovered against a Detroit team that played the last three quarters without Grant Hill, who was bothered by the flu.
"I'll probably be on ESPN's SportsCenter like I had a great game or something, but that's the way this game is," said Wesley, who missed six of his eight field-goal attempts and had four turnovers. "You stay ready, stay ready and try to help your team win when you get a chance."
Hill started but sat down after 10 minutes and did not return. He had four points and three turnovers.
"We can't feel sorry for ourselves," coach Alvin Gentry said of losing the team leader in scoring, rebounding, assists and charges taken. "This is the NBA, and that happens all the time."
The Pistons made up for Hill's absence with defense and rebounding. Charlotte was held to a franchise-low 57 field-goal attempts and shot just 16-of-42 in the final three quarters. Detroit also outrebounded the Hornets 44-28.
Detroit, held to 30 points in the first half, got back in it with 29 in the third quarter, but the Pistons wound up losing for the fifth time in seven games. Detroit has been limited to 86 points or less in all five losses.
"You give yourself a chance to win a game on the road and once you get the chance and don't win, it hurts a lot more," said Detroit's Joe Dumars, who had all 16 of his points in the second half. "The object is to come out on the road and win. There are no moral victories in this league. Either you win or you don't. The rallying point is big wins, not tough losses."
Lindsey Hunter led Detroit with 20 points.
The Hornets pushed their lead to nine points late in the third quarter before the Pistons rallied, getting a 3-pointer from Dumars to tie it at 70-all with 6:25 left in the game. A driving layup by Jerome Williams made it 72-70, Detroit's first lead since 2-1.
The Pistons pushed their lead to 76-72 on Hunter's foul-line jumper before Charlotte began its comeback. Wesley's 3-pointer put the Hornets ahead to stay, 79-76 with 1:08 left.
The Hornets hit their first three attempts from 3-point range, helping them open the game with a 20-9 run on the way to a 29-15 lead after one quarter.
Charlotte pushed its lead as high as 17 in the second quarter before the Pistons cut it to 45-30 at halftime.
Notes: Charlotte's Derrick Coleman missed his fifth consecutive game with a sprained left ankle, and Detroit's Jerry Stackhouse sat out for the seventh time in eight games to rest a sprained right ankle. ... Gentry is 0-6 against Charlotte. ... The Hornets have won four in a row and six of seven against the Pistons, including three straight in Charlotte.
Copyright © 1999 CNN/SI. A Time Warner Company.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.