Pistons hold off Hornets when Belinelli's shot is too late

AP News
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Posted: Jan 05, 2017 10:55 PM
Pistons hold off Hornets when Belinelli's shot is too late

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Marco Belinelli nearly pulled off one of the craftiest buzzer beaters in memory, but his bank shot was disallowed because it came too late, and the Detroit Pistons held on for a 115-114 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday night.

Belinelli was inbounding from the sideline with 0.5 seconds remaining and the Hornets down by one. Detroit's Marcus Morris was guarding the inbounder but had his back turned, and Belinelli bounced the ball off him and caught the carom. He then took a shot that banked in, but it was waved off — and a video review confirmed the basket came just after time expired.

Kemba Walker scored 20 of his 32 points in the final period, helping Charlotte rally from a 19-point fourth-quarter deficit.

Reggie Jackson put Detroit up 115-113 when he made two free throws with 1.9 seconds remaining. Morris was then called for a foul while Charlotte was trying to inbound at the other end, giving the Hornets one free throw and the ball. Belinelli made it to pull Charlotte within one.

Jackson knocked the ensuing inbounds pass out of bounds, leaving 0.5 seconds on the clock. Belinelli then tried his tricky move, but there wasn't quite enough time to pull it off.

Boban Marjanovic had 15 points and a career-high 19 rebounds, helping the Pistons overcome Andre Drummond's foul trouble. The 7-foot-3 Marjanovic had played only 76 minutes all season, but the Pistons had little choice but to go to him when Drummond was whistled for his second foul with 6:42 left in the first quarter. Backup center Aron Baynes was out with a sprained left ankle.

By halftime, Marjanovic had 10 points and 11 rebounds, eight of which came at the offensive end. The Hornets didn't seem ready for the 28-year-old from Serbia, who was able to position himself near the basket and simply reach above other players for rebounds.

Drummond picked up his fourth foul with 10:42 remaining in the third, so Marjanovic came back in and grabbed seven more rebounds by the time that period was over.

Detroit scored the final nine points of the third and led 85-70 after Morris made a 33-footer at the buzzer.

Tobias Harris scored 25 points for the Pistons, and Jackson had 22 points and 11 assists.

TIP-INS

Hornets: Charlotte was 5 of 22 from the field in the second quarter but still outscored Detroit 22-21 in the period. The Hornets trailed 58-48 at halftime. ... The Hornets were without 7-footer Cody Zeller, who has been going through the NBA's concussion protocol.

Pistons: Detroit had lost eight of its previous 10. ... Morris had 20 points and 10 rebounds.

TURNOVERS

The Pistons and Hornets came into the game averaging 12 turnovers apiece — the best marks in the NBA. They combined for 12 in this game — five for Charlotte and seven for Detroit.

UP NEXT

Hornets: At San Antonio on Saturday night in the second of five straight games on the road.

Pistons: At Portland on Saturday night to start a five-game trip of their own.