Detroit Pistons open with win at new home over Charlotte, 102-90
By LARRY LAGE
AP Sports Writer
DETROIT — Eminem, Kid Rock and Big Sean welcomed the Detroit Pistons back downtown.
And the Motor City’s NBA team gave their fans a reason to cheer.
Tobias Harris scored 17 of his 27 points in the first quarter and had 10 rebounds, helping Detroit celebrate its return to the city with a 102-90 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night.
The Pistons and Charlotte opened the season in Little Caesars Arena, a new facility that drew them downtown for the first time in nearly four decades. Eminem made a surprise appearance, grabbing the microphone to fire up the crowd just before tipoff.
“I don’t think any of us knew that was coming,” Harris said. “That was really dope.”
Dwight Howard had 10 points, 15 rebounds and two blocks in his debut with the Hornets.
“This is a long season, so we can’t panic after one game,” Howard said.
Charlotte’s Kemba Walker scored 24 points, and Jeremy Lamb had 15.
Reserve Langston Galloway scored 16 points, Avery Bradley had 15, and Henry Ellenson added 13 points for Detroit. Reggie Jackson had 13 points and eight assists. Detroit’s point guard spent the final seconds of the game hugging teammate Andre Drummond at midcourt, soaking up the feel-good moment after a disappointing season.
The Pistons outscored Charlotte 27-18 in the second quarter, building an 11-point lead they didn’t have much trouble keeping.