The Aaron Gordon comeback was a brief one.
After missing two games because of a concussion, Gordon returned to the lineup on Friday and suffered a calf strain that will force him to miss Sunday's matinee against the Pistons, and who knows how many other games. It was a cruel twist of fate for a Magic team that is already beset by injuries and now on a four-game losing streak.
Without Gordon, the Magic (11-19) will once again rely heavily on Nikola Vucevic, who will square off against the Pistons' Andre Drummond. Expect Vooch to spend plenty of time lingering around the perimeter on the offensive end, to draw Drummond, a rebounding and shot-blocking specialist, out of the paint.
The Pistons (16-13) have bounced back from a seven-game losing streak by winning their last two games, the most recent being a win over the Pacers that gave former Magic coach Stan Van Gundy his 500th career victory. The Pistons are led by another familiar face in Tobias Harris, the former Magic forward who is averaging a career-best 17.8 points per game.
Prior to their seven-game losing streak, the Pistons had jumped out to a surprising 14-6 record behind a stringy defense, which is now allowing 104.3 points per 100 possessions, 14th best in the league.
The defense has an easier assignment on Sunday with the Magic being without Gordon, Evan Fournier and Terrence Ross. As of Sunday morning, Jonathan Isaac and Arron Afflalo were still listed as questionable.
Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m. Eastern time as the Magic make their first visit to the brand new Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. Catch the game on Fox Sports Florida or NBA League Pass.