- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 5, 2009

AUBURN HILLS, MICH. (AP) - Will Bynum scored a franchise-record 26 points in the fourth quarter to lead Detroit to a 104-97 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Sunday that put the Pistons a step closer to locking up the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Bynum scored the final 13 points for the Pistons and finished with a career-high 32 points, and also had seven assists. He made all six of his field-goal attempts and went 14-for-16 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter.

Bynum picked up the scoring load for Richard Hamilton, who led Detroit with 13 points before he was ejected at the end of the third quarter after picking up his second technical foul of the game.

The win was the third for Detroit in four meetings with Charlotte this season and leaves the Pistons three games ahead of the Bobcats with five games remaining in the race for the final playoff spot.

D.J. Augustin led Charlotte with 22 points, including 14 in the fourth quarter. Raymond Felton added 18, while Boris Diaw and Emeka Okafor added 14 points each. Okafor pulled down 16 rebounds.

Tayshaun Prince added 14 points for Detroit, while Kwame Brown and Antonio McDyess each grabbed nine rebounds.

Charlotte led 10-2 early in the game, but the Pistons rallied to lead by as many as 17 in the before the half. Charlotte rallied to lead in the third quarter and led at the start of the fourth before Detroit pulled away.

The Pistons are trying to clinch a playoff berth for the eighth consecutive season while the Bobcats have yet to play in the postseason.

Notes:@ Pistons center Rasheed Wallace returned to the starting lineup. He came off the bench in the previous three games after returning following a calf injury that caused him to miss 11 games. Bobcats guard Raja Bell sat out with a calf injury. Cartier Martin started in his place. Eleven Detroit and Charlotte players have played in the NCAA tournament. Just two won a national championship with a team that is playing in Monday night’s national title game: Charlotte teammates Raymond Felton and Sean May won national titles at North Carolina.

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