Detroit Pistons’ rally stopped by Terry Rozier in 105-102 loss at Charlotte Hornets

Detroit Free Press

Omari Sankofa II | Detroit Free Press

After a seven-day layoff for All Star break, the Detroit Pistons lacked energy in the early going against the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday.

They found their footing before halftime, using runs in the second and third quarters to turn a 16-point deficit into an eventual lead.

They couldn’t close out the win, however.

Two clutch shots from Terry Rozier — a 3-pointer with 54 seconds left and a midrange jumper with 9 seconds remaining — handed the Pistons (10-27) a 105-102 road loss. Jerami Grant led Detroit with 32 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Saddiq Bey added 14 points and hit four of his nine 3-point attempts.

THE RIGHT GUY: Why Troy Weaver believes Dwane Casey is the ‘best coach in the world’

The Pistons looked lethargic while falling behind by double-digits in the first quarter, committing avoidable turnovers and missing wide open shots. They shot 38.5% in the period and just 2-for-13 from behind-the-arc.

Their first burst of momentum came midway through the second, when they used a 12-2 run to narrow the deficit to six. It carried over to the third quarter, when they went on a 22-8 run to take the lead. Detroit outscored the Hornets, 33-25, in the third.

Grant hit a couple of late 3-pointers to help the Pistons ward off a potential Hornets run. Isaiah Stewart, who finished with seven points points and eight rebounds, also hit a late 3-pointer — only the second make of his NBA career — to give the Pistons a 93-90 lead with 3:24 to play.

After two-week absence, Wright returns

Wright was in the midst of settling in as a point guard before suffering a groin strain against the Memphis Grizzlies on Feb. 19.

He returned and started on Thursday. Wright had a quiet night, with just five points and four assists in 22 minutes. In his seven games prior to the injury, he averaged 6.7 points (61.8% shooting, 55.6% from 3), 6.1 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.4 steals.

Stewart extending his range

All season, there have been teases of Stewart’s potential as an outside shooter. After games, he’s often been seen getting shots up with a trainer. Dwane Casey has expressed confidence that the shot will eventually become a featured part of his game. On Tuesday, Troy Weaver said he can envision Stewart playing power forward next to Mason Plumlee — an arrangement that would certainly only work if Stewart could space the floor.

Before Thursday, Stewart had attempted five 3-pointers and made one. He made his lone attempt against the Hornets, and it was a clutch one that gave the Pistons a late 93-90 lead. He also hit a 12-foot turnaround jumper in the second quarter.

Contact Omari Sankofa II at Follow him on Twitter @omarisankofa. The Free Press has started a new digital subscription model. Here’s how you can gain access to our most exclusive Pistons content. Read more on the Detroit Pistons and sign up for our Pistons newsletter.

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