STEVE REED, AP Sports Writer
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Al Jefferson scored 29 points, Kemba Walker had 24 points and a career-high 16 assists, and the Charlotte Bobcats beat the Detroit Pistons for the second straight night, 116-98 on Wednesday.
The win gives the Bobcats (25-30) a sweep of the season three-game series and a 2 1/2-game lead over the Pistons in the race for the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
It was Walker’s best all-around game since returning from a sprained ankle.
Jefferson, who had 32 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists in Tuesday’s win at Detroit, went 12 of 20 from the field and grabbed eight rebounds. He has scored at least 20 points in 16 of the last 18 games.
Brandon Jennings had 20 points for Detroit before being ejected from the game with 1:13 left after picking up his second technical foul.
The Pistons have lost nine of their last 14 games.
Josh McRoberts chipped in with 15 points for the Bobcats and Ramon Sessions had 10 points and 10 assists off the bench.
The Bobcats led by six at halftime, but opened the second half with a 17-3 tear to take a 70-50 lead behind 3-pointers from Walker, McRoberts and Gerald Henderson.
The Pistons got within nine in the fourth quarter, but McRoberts buried a pair of 3-pointers and Walker hit a jumper to put the Bobcats safely ahead.
Similar to Tuesday night’s 108-96 win, the Bobcats started fast.
One night after making their first seven shots they attempted from the field, the Bobcats sank 7 of 9 shots to open the game en route to opening another double-digit lead.
Detroit coach John Loyer stressed before the game the importance of starting fast, but Greg Monroe missed his first eight shots from the field and Josh Smith missed his first six. They were a combined 2 of 17 from the field in the first half.
Smith finished with 14 points and Monroe had 13.
Andre Drummond, who had 16 points and 22 rebounds on Tuesday, was limited to eight points and six rebounds.
Cody Zeller brought immediate energy and production off the bench for the Bobcats with a career-high three blocked shots.
The more aggressive Bobcats dominated on the boards, outrebounding the Pistons 49-31.
NOTES: Former South Carolina Gamecocks defensive end and top NFL draft prospect Jadeveon Clowney attended the game. … Charlotte had lost five straight games at home to Detroit prior to Wednesday night. … The Bobcats shot 51. percent from the field; the Pistons shot 42 percent.
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