AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) - The Detroit Pistons rebounded in a big way against the Charlotte Bobcats.
One night after Tayshaun Prince said his team was ``still on vacation' during a 29-point loss to Philadelphia, the Pistons beat the Bobcats 109-94 Wednesday.
``I think we clearly invested more in tonight's game than we did last night,' Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said.
``We all knew what happened last night, but we put that behind us and we made progress tonight. That's the important thing for us right now.'
The game was dominated by Pistons center Greg Monroe and the starting backcourt of Rodney Stuckey and Brandon Knight. Monroe had 19 points and a career-best 20 rebounds, while Stuckey (29) and Knight (20) combined for 49 points.
``When Brandon is playing north-to-south and attacking the rim, it is vital for us,' Frank said. ``When he and Rodney are both doing that, it means Greg is going to get rebounds and he's going to get some easy shots.'
Monroe easily topped his previous high of 16 rebounds, but came out of the game before he got a chance at a 20-20 night.
``We were focused on attacking the glass, and the ball was falling into the right places,' Monroe said. ``This was definitely a big game for us, because we needed to build some momentum after what happened last night.'
Corey Maggette had 17 points for Charlotte, which has lost 19 of 20 and is 4-29 on the season.
``This all started with our defensive rebounding,' Gerald Henderson said. ``Monroe had 20 and we got outrebounded 55-37. That's unacceptable. We need to get tougher.'
Henderson returned after missing nine games with a hamstring injury, scoring 13 points.
``I felt fine,' he said. ``It's just tough to come back and lose - I want to help the team win.'
Bismack Biyombo got off to a quick start, winning the opening tip, hitting the game's first shot and blocking Detroit's first attempt.
Biyombo strained his left shoulder later in the first quarter and did not return. Charlotte coach Paul Silas said that Biyombo will have an MRI tomorrow to determine if there is any serious problem.
His absence let the Pistons dominate the paint in the rest of the first half. The Pistons had more offensive rebounds (10) than Charlotte had defensive rebounds (nine), and held an 18-3 edge on second-chance points.
``Bismack was the one that was playing tough and rebounding for us and blocking shots,' Silas said. ``Those were all things we needed, and when we lost him, it was hard to make it up.'
Biyombo's absence helped Detroit build a 58-43 lead at halftime, with Stuckey and Knight combining for 29 points.
Monroe finished the first half with nine points and 11 rebounds, and picked up his 19th double-double in the first minute of the third quarter.
The Pistons led 83-69 at the end of the third, and while the Bobcats got as close as 12 in the fourth, they never seriously threatened Detroit's lead.
Notes: Maggette picked up a first-quarter technical after official James Capers ruled he shoved Jonas Jerebko out of bounds, while Gerald Henderson got one for arguing a third-quarter call. Stuckey and Jason Maxiell picked up second-half technicals for minor altercations. ... The second half was delayed briefly when the arena lights were slow to come back on after the halftime show.
The Associated Press News Service
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