Point guard Kemba Walker had a season-high 34 points and center Al Jefferson scored 15 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter and finished with 14 rebounds. Shooting guard Gerald Henderson contributed 22 points and eight rebounds for the Bobcats (13-14), who trailed by as much as 20 points.
"That's not a coaching thing," Bobcats coach Steve Clifford said. "You either have guys were are going to fight and are great competitors or you don't. I remember when I was working for Jeff Van Gundy a long time ago with the Knicks. He said, 'You either have the right kind of guys or you don't.' And we have the right kind of guys."
"We were just letting them do what they wanted to do," Jefferson said. "The second half started off the same way and then Cody (Zeller) and (Bismack Biyombo) and that second unit really came out and set the tone. After they set the tone and we got back in it, we just had to close it off."
Detroit (13-15), which had won two straight, gave away a 13-point lead to Portland in its last home game on Sunday. The Pistons wiped away a 21-point deficit at Boston on Wednesday but became the first team since Orlando in 2001 to win a game after trailing by at least 20 and then lose their next outing after leading by 20.
"We just lost focus," Pistons point guard Brandon Jennings said. "It happened so fast, I really don't know what to say. It's kind of unbelievable what happened."
Jennings led the Pistons (13-15) with 26 points and forward Josh Smith added 18 points and six rebounds. Center Andre Drummond posted his Eastern Conference-high 20th double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds.
Charlotte opened the fourth quarter with a 17-4 run, capped by a 3-pointer from former Pistons guard Ben Gordon, to pull within 93-92. A Jefferson layup with 4:14 remaining gave the Bobcats their first lead at 100-99 and Walker followed with a 3-pointer.
"I don't know what was going on in the first half," said Jefferson, who missed nine games earlier this season with a bone bruise in his right ankle. "I'm still trying to get in a groove, still trying to get this ankle right, but it got to the point where I said enough is enough. I've got to just go out there and do what I've got to do, do what I'm supposed to do and the shots started falling for me."
NOTES: G Rodney Stuckey, the Pistons' sixth man, missed his second consecutive game with a sore right shoulder. ... Charlotte PG Kemba Walker played in his 175th consecutive game, tying Emeka Okafor for the second longest streak in franchise history. Boris Diaw holds the record with 245. Walker and Golden State SG Klay Thompson are the only members of the 2011 draft class to play in every game. "He has a competitiveness and toughness about him that rubs off on his teammates on the floor," Bobcats coach Steve Clifford said. ... Detroit F Josh Smith made his 900th career steal during the closing seconds of the first quarter. ... Charlotte has an 8-5 record in games decided by six or fewer points, best among teams that have played a minimum of eight such games. ... Detroit, which has a three-game road trip next week, is 7-6 away from The Palace this season. It's the first time the Pistons have been above .500 on the road since winning their opener during the 2009-10 season.