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Bobcats' Gordon scores 18 to help beat former team

The SportsXchange

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Ben Gordon never beat his former team after joining the Detroit Pistons. Once he became an ex-Piston, he didn't have to wait long to get back at the team that traded him.

Dealt to Charlotte during the offseason, Gordon had 18 points in his return to The Palace as the Charlotte Bobcats won for just the second time in 21 games, 108-101 in overtime over the Pistons on Sunday.

Kemba Walker had a team-high 20 points, including four in overtime and the game-tying shot with 7.8 seconds remaining in regulation, as the Bobcats (9-24) snapped the Pistons' four-game winning streak.

Gordon downplayed the revenge angle, claiming it was just another game to him.

"I look forward to every game," said Gordon, who added four assists and three steals. "There's no hard feeling leaving here. They gave me a chance to come in and play the game I love. Things didn't really work out around here and I have another opportunity where I'm still doing what I love, so it's all good."

Gordon played three mostly disappointing seasons with Detroit after he left Chicago as a free agent and signed a five-year contract in 2009. The Pistons went 0-12 against the Bulls during those lottery-bound seasons.

Charlotte coach Mike Dunlap felt Gordon was a little more pleased than he claimed with the media.

"This is a place where he wants to play well," Dunlap said. "We know that. Most guys in this league do when they get traded. We were giving him as many minutes as he could take and he took full advantage. If he doesn't do it, we don't go to OT. For me, he was spectacular, both offensively and defensively."

Ramon Sessions added 15 points, Bismack Biyombo contributed 10 points and 17 rebounds and Tyrus Thomas scored six of his 13 points in overtime. Charlotte (9-24) forced 22 turnovers, which it converted into 26 points.

"We just tried to take advantage of our quickness and ball-handling, and our ability to make midrange shots and get to the basket," Gordon said. "That gave them trouble tonight."

Tayshaun Prince's 21 points led the Pistons (13-23). Greg Monroe had 18 points and 14 rebounds and Rodney Stuckey contributed 18 points. The Bobcats are 3-1 in overtime games while the Pistons fell to 0-3.

Detroit scored 60 first-half points, a season high, but coach Lawrence Frank felt that might have worked against his club.

"The focus for us going in was we knew we had to sprint back, get set and make them play against our set defense," he said. "When we score easily, sometimes we lose our defensive focus. That's what happened."

The score was 96-all going into overtime. Thomas made a jumper on Charlotte's first overtime possession and Walker doubled the lead with a layup. Detroit finally broke through on Monroe's free throws with 2:06 remaining.

Thomas made another midrange shot to nudge Charlotte's lead back to four. Walker's reverse layup with 1:13 left made it 104-98.

Stuckey's off-balance 3-pointer with 24.4 seconds left sliced the Bobcats' lead in half, but Michael Kidd-Gilchrist hit two free throws five seconds later. When Charlie Villanueva missed a 3-pointer on Detroit's next possession, the Bobcats' victory was secured.

Frank said the Bobcats deserved to win.

"Look at what many people consider the hustle areas -- fast-break points, second-chance points, free throws attempts -- we lost all those areas," he said. "There's cause and effect with all those things. We don't have the margin for error to get outworked."

Notes: Detroit swept the four-game series against the Bobcats last season and is 11-4 all-time at home against Charlotte. The teams play three more times this season. ... Bobcats forward Hakim Warrick (flu-like symptoms) was a late scratch. ... Gordon has four games with at least 25 points off the bench this season. Only New York's J.R. Smith (five) has more as a reserve. "He's lived up to his billing," Dunlap said. "We certainly need his scoring." ... Pistons rookie center Andre Drummond had six rebounds after averaging 9.8 rebounds in the previous 12 games. Drummond entered the game averaging 17.8 rebounds per 48 minutes, third most by a rookie since 1985-86 behind Roy Tarpley, who averaged 18.2 for Dallas in 1986-87, and Charles Oakley, who averaged 18.0 for Chicago in 1985-86. ... The Pistons, who have played more games than any Eastern Conference team, get a four-day break and only have three games the next 13 days. ... Nine different players have led Detroit in scoring, but the list does not include two starters, forward Jason Maxiell and guard Kyle Singer. ... The teams have a combined five players from the University of Connecticut -- the Pistons' Drummond and Villanueva and the Bobcats' Gordon, Jeff Adrien and Walker.

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