Monroe scored eight of the Pistons' last 13 points, with Jose Calderon collecting the other five on free throws, as the lowly Bobcats, who lost for the 100th time since the beginning of last season -- they are 20-100 during that time -- pulled within one point twice late but never drew even in the fourth quarter.
"We showed our execution down the stretch, our patience, our poise, and playing through adversity," Frank said. "Brandon was playing very, very well, goes down, tries to come back in, goes down again. And our guys stayed with it. You can go down the line with our guys in terms of impacting the game."

Calderon, the point guard who spent his six minutes of fourth-quarter playing time off the ball, with Will Bynum running the point, said the Pistons took note that Monroe's multi-faceted offensive game was causing the Bobcats trouble.

"We saw none of them could stop him during the game," Calderon said. "They went small, so we knew if they started helping, we were going to be able to knock down some wide-open shots."

But with Calderon sizzling on 3-pointers -- he hit all four of his attempts, his only field goals in a 17-point performance which meshed nicely with Knight's 21 -- the Bobcats (13-41) were reluctant to help with his man.

That forced the Bobcats to choose between doubling Monroe with bigs or guarding him with one man in the post. They chose the latter.

"He was great," Calderon said. "He was just kind of like one on one, and he's pretty good in the post, so let's get him the ball."

Knight went out with a hyperextended right knee with 1:45 left in the third quarter. He returned with 9:12 remaining in the game but quickly twisted his right ankle -- he said he thought it was a compensatory injury -- and lasted only 45 seconds.

With Knight gone, Bynum and Rodney Stuckey played the entire fourth quarter, and Stuckey came up with two of the game's biggest plays, a pair of one-man transitions on which he scored and was fouled.

Stuckey converted one of the three-point play opportunities and his five unanswered points pushed a four-point lead to 86-77.

"Two rack attacks, off stops, going coast to coast," Frank said. "And when you look at the final margin of the game, those are big buckets."