– Pistons big man Josh Smith (25 points, 12 rebounds, and 3 assists) and Point Guard Brandon Jennings (15 points, 10 assists, on 5-22 shooting) can’t help lead Detroit back in the second half in Orlando, fall to Magic 112-98. Jennings snapped his 6-game streak scoring 20+ in contest Wednesday night. Andre Drummond finished the game with 15 points, 14 rebounds, and 2 blocks.
Coming off a positive performance in Miami despite the result (Heat won 102-96), Detroit was on a high-tick as they faced the reeling Magic for the second time in just over a week.
Back at The Palace, Detroit took care of business as Magic big man Nikola Vucevic did not dress with concussion like symptoms. This time, with a healthy group of guys in front off their home crowd, they returned the favor, dismantling the Pistons from the second quarter onward.
Detroit shot just 45,9% from the floor, going 6/20 from deep (2/10 from Brandon Jennings), and connected on just 14 of their 23 free throw attempts (60.9%). Meanwhile, at the other end, the Magic outperformed Detroit in almost every facet of the game. Shooting almost 50% from the floor, 33% from deep, and connecting on 90% of their free throw attempts (18/20).
Orlando out rebounded Detroit 44-36, had 29 assists on 44 field goals, opposed to Detroit’s 19 dimes, on 39 shots. Kyle O’ Quinn, Magic big man out of Norfolk State single-handedly out blocked the entire Piston team with a season/career high 6 blocks. The Magic finished with eight blocks for the game to Detroit’s four.
The Pistons kept it together through the first, as they managed to stay even with Orlando after one, 26-26. Head Coach Maurice Cheeks made his first adjustment to the starting lineup Wednesday night, replacing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope at the shooting guard position with second year wing Kyle Singler.
Singler finished the game with just 11 points despite the increased playing time (32 minutes). While for KCP, he saw just 12 minutes after the second half benching down in Miami as he could not contain Heat Guard Dwayne Wade on Monday night. In those 12 minutes, KCP went scoreless from the floor, grabbing just a single rebound and dishing out just one assist.
Despite the change to the starting five, the Pistons did not play any better. Orlando made their big run in the second quarter as they outscored the Pistons 31-17 in the quarter giving them a 57-43 halftime lead. The second quarter proved to be the difference in this one, as the Pistons matched the Magic in every other quarter scoring wise.
The Magic would go on to finish the Pistons behind the strong play of their guards. Jameer Nelson led the Magic with 11 assists, to go along with his 7 points, and 4 boards. Off the bench for Orlando, Victor Oladipo had a nice bounce back performance after being held under single digits back at The Palace last week. Oladipo finished the game with 20 points on 8/10 shooting, with 4 boards and 3 assists. Doing all of his work in just 27 minutes of action.
The Magic now stand at (14-37), just 14th in the Eastern Conference, while Detroit drops their second straight. Pistons (19-29) remain at the ninth position in the East as the Blazers knocked of the New York Knickerbockers (19-30) Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.
Detroit is back in action Friday night, as they play host to the thriving Brooklyn Nets who have cemented themselves into the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff picture. As we speak, the Nets are (21-25), seventh in the conference, however, the Pistons have had some success against Brooklyn. Detroit won the first two meetings with each other, as they look to sweep the season series with them Friday night at The Palace.
Detroit will look to bounce back against a team they have had continued success against this year, as this depressing season moves onward.
Tags: Aaron Afflalo Andre Drummond Brandon Jennings Chauncey Billups Detroit Pistons Greg Monroe Jameer Nelson Josh Smith Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Kyle O'Quinn Kyle Singler Orlando Magic Victor Oladipo Will Bynum