Even when fully healthy, the Orlando Magic have had their problems over the years with the Detroit Pistons. With the Magic's three best players, Dwight Howard, Ryan Anderson, and Jameer Nelson all out with injuries, trying to beat the Pistons would be that much tougher. Despite a tremendous effort from Glen Davis, who scored a career-high 31 points on 11 of 22 shooting with 10 rebounds, 3 steals, and a block starting in place of Howard, the Pistons pulled away in the fourth quarter to go ahead by as much as 13 points late in the 102-95 Detroit victory.
It was a balanced scoring effort from the Pistons, as six players scored in double figures, including all five starters. Center Greg Monroe, scored 17 of his 22 points in the second half, and shot 9 of 11 from the field, along with 11 rebounds and 3 assists. Guard Ben Gordon added 18 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals. Three Magic players in addition to Davis scored in double figures. Hedo Turkoglu scored 16 points on 6 of 7 shooting, along with 3 assists and 2 rebounds. Turkoglu scored 14 points in the first half on perfect 5 of 5 shooting, but was ineffective in the second half due to a trapping defense from the Pistons to get the ball out of his hands. Chris Duhon, starting in place of Nelson at the point, scored all 13 of his points in the second half along with 5 assists and 4 rebounds. Jason Richardson added 10 points on 4 of 10 shooting.
For the second straight game, the Magic allowed a season-high field goal percentage to the opposing team with the Pistons shooting 56.6%, compared to 45.8% for Orlando. Detroit was especially effective in the second half, scoring 52 points on blistering 66.7% shooting. Without Howard to guard the low post for the Magic, Detroit was able to effectively go to the hoop for buckets. Detroit was also able to exploit the absence of the Magic's two best rebounders, Howard and Anderson, to dominate the Magic on the boards 45-30, including 12-4 offensively. The Pistons also significantly outscored the Magic on two-point field goals 80-46. On the positive side, the Magic found their three-point stroke, shooting 10 of 24 (41.7%), committed just 10 turnovers, and shot 19 of 24 (79.2%) on free throws, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Pistons' outstanding shooting and rebounding.
|Team||Pace||Efficiency||eFG%||FT Rate||OReb%||TO Rate|
|Green denotes a stat better than the team's season average;
red denotes a stat worse than the team's season average.
The Magic took their first lead of the game 28-27 to open the second quarter after Ish Smith nailed a three-pointer. Smith scored all 5 of his points in the quarter. Daniel Orton also saw action in the second, giving Davis a break. The Magic's largest lead was 34-30 after Earl Clark split two free throws. The Pistons then went on a 13-6 run to take back the lead 43-40 after a Gordon layup. A Tayshaun Prince layup ended the first half scoring, with the Pistons holding a 50-47 advantage going into the locker room. Turkoglu had 14 points at the half and Davis 12 points, 5 rebounds for the Magic. Duhon, starting in place of Nelson at the point, was held scoreless in the first half.
The Magic started slowly in the third quarter, going scoreless for the first 3:15 as Detroit increased their lead to 58-47. The Magic then went on a 9-0 run, getting to within two points 58-56 after a Davis layup. The Magic eventually took the lead 70-69 after a Duhon three-pointer with 2:24 remaining in the quarter. Even though Detroit regained the lead, Orton's two free throws tied the game at 74-74 entering the final frame. The Magic outscored the Pistons 27-24 in the third despite being outshot 67% to 35%, thanks to 10 of 11 free throw shooting.
Reserve power forward Jonas Jerebko made a three-pointer to open the fourth to give the Pistons a 77-74 lead they would not relinquish the rest of the way. Detroit had their largest lead of the game at 93-80 after a Will Bynum jumper with 5:11 remaining. The Magic made the game closer, going on a 7-0 run after a Jason Richardson three-pointer with 2:44 remaining, and came as close as 100-95 after a rare Davis three with 22 seconds left on their way to the 102-95 loss.
Other game notes:
-Quentin Richardson, starting in place of Anderson, added 9 points on 3 of 7 shooting with 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals.
-The Pistons' reserves outscored the Magic's reserves 21-16, with Jonas Jerebko scoring 13 points. J.J. Redick scored 4 points on just 1 of 9 shooting for the Magic, which was one of the worst shooting games of his career. This follows an 0 for 6 performance against Dallas last Friday from Redick.
-Pistons' point guard Brandon Knight, starting in place of the injured Rodney Stuckey, scored 11 points with 4 assists. Jason Maxiell, with 15 points and 7 rebounds, and Tayshaun Prince with 15 points and 6 rebounds rounded out the balanced Detroit scoring.