Ben Gordon put the Bobcats ahead for the first time in the second half, 76-75, with 3:07 left in the fourth quarter with a three-pointer but the Pistons answered with back-to-back scores by Rodney Stuckey and Greg Monroe to give the Pistons a 79-76 lead.
Gordon again rallied the Bobcats with two free throws to cut the Pistons lead to one, 79-78, but Stuckey answered with a three-pointer to put the Pistons ahead 82-78 with 30.2 seconds left in the game.
Brandon Knight missed a free-throw with 21.9 seconds left in the game to give Charlotte another chance, down 83-80, but Kemba Walker missed a three-pointer on the ensuing possession which secured Detroit's win.
Rookie Andre Drummond had another solid game for the Pistons with eight points and seven rebounds on 4-of-6 shooting from the field in 15 minutes. Fellow rookies Kyle Singler and Kim English struggled from the field, combining to go 2-of-9 for eight points. Singler added five rebounds and two steals in just under 20 minutes of playing time.