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CHARLOTTE (DETROIT FREE PRESS) – Uh, about that lottery pick.

The tanking crowd among Detroit Pistons fandom got more good news tonight when the Bobcats earned a 116-98 victory over the Pistons – one night after gaining an important win in the first game of the important back-to-back right out of the All-Star break.

The Bobcats earned the series sweep (3-0) over the Pistons, who dropped 2 1/2 games behind the Bobcats for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

And for those of you keeping track of the Pistons (22-32) are only a half-game ahead of the streaking Cavs for the eighth worst record in the league.

For those of you keeping track, the Pistons (22-32) are only 1 ½ games ahead of the Knicks for the eighth worst record in the league. If the Pistons finish in the bottom eight they can keep their first-round pick. If not, it goes to the Bobcats via the Ben Gordon-Corey Maggette trade in 2012. The Pistons main goal of the trade was to get rid of Gordon's bad contract. The thought was they would be ready to contend by this season so the pick wouldn't be missed.

But more huge nights from Al Jefferson (29 points) and Kemba Walker (24 points, 16 assists) have the Pistons looking like they aren't anywhere close to being a playoff team.

Brandon Jennings (20 points) had enough in the waning minutes when he was hit with two quick technicals arguing with the officials.

It was another horrible defensive effort – just like Tuesday night's when they allowed the Bobcats (25-30) to score 106 points. The Bobcats, who ranked 25th in offensive rating going into tonight, shot over 50% for the second straight night.

The largest lead of the game was 22 points.

Contact Vince Ellis: vellis@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @vincent_ellis56.

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