It’s not often that NBA teams are happy after a loss, but on this day 25 years ago, the Detroit Pistons were extra sour.
History and a personal accomplishment were achieved for the Orlando Magic on March 19, 1996. On a night where Dennis Scott broke the NBA’s single-season record for made three-pointers, Anthony Bowie capped the night by tallying a controversial triple-double in a 113-91 victory for the Magic.
Entering the contest, Scott had 216 made three-pointers for the season. That was just one shy of John Starks’ record set the year prior. It took less than a quarter for Scott to make history.
After knocking down a trey earlier in the first quarter, Scott’s second late in the period broke Starks’ record and allowed the Magic to take a 19-18 lead after a quarter. Orlando was able to push the lead to four at halftime before pulling away with a big third quarter.
Orlando led 79-63 after three quarters and from there, the contest was never in doubt. That however, didn’t stop the Magic from calling a late timeout.
To that point, guard Anthony Bowie had 20 points, nine rebounds and nine assists. Following a Detroit miss, Bowie, who was starting in place of injured Nick Anderson, grabbed his 10th rebound and called timeout with 2.7 seconds left.
Unhappy with the timeout, Detroit head coach Doug Collins waved his players off the floor. Needing an assist for a triple-double, Bowie caught a long pass and found forward David Vaughn for the dunk for his Bowie’s 10th assist and lone career triple-double.
As the Pistons stormed off the court, the Magic had notched their third straight 50-win season, improved to 33-0 at home and continued their NBA record 40-game home winning streak dating back to the previous season.
In addition to Bowie’s big night, Horace Grant led all scorers with 26 points. Brooks Thompson added 21 points off the Orlando bench while the dynamic duo of Anfernee Hardaway and Shaquille O’Neal tallied 18 and 10 points, respectively. Lindsey Hunter, Allan Houston, Grant Hill and Joe Dumars scored 15, 14, 13 and 12 points, respectively, for the Pistons in the loss.
As for Scott, he would finish the season with 267 made three-pointers – a record that would stand for 10 years before being broken by Ray Allen. Although it was marred with controversy, it was set on this day a quarter-century ago.