Magic Overcome Piston Curse, Slow Start for Fourth Straight Win
The Orlando Magic defeated their former rivals, the Detroit Pistons, by a score of 90-79 at the Amway Center Tuesday night. Once again, the Magic overcame a sloppy first half filled with low energy and even worse execution on the way to their 4th straight victory. The Magic were led in scoring by Rashard Lewis who dropped in 20 points on 7-10 shooting. Only one other Magic starter scored in double figures (Vince Carter, 13 points) and the reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Week, Dwight Howard, was held to only 9 points. Despite not scoring much, Dwight still played hard the entire night and especially on the defensive end (14 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 blocks). Former Magic superstar Tracy McGrady made his triumphant Detroit Pistons debut in Orlando with a sizzling 3 total points in 19 minutes of play. He was booed almost every time he touched the ball and it was almost sad to see how far he has fallen. The Magic trailed at halftime by 2 points but hot shooting and a motivated defensive squad during the last 18 minutes of action allowed the team to pull away. The Magic shot 6-9 from three point distance in the 4th quarter after only shooting 4-15 through the first 3 quarters of the game. Generally when you make a lot of shots, you win. Groundbreaking, I know.
For more news, notes and analysis from tonight’s game, click “continue reading” below:
- Vince Carter returned to the starting lineup tonight and finished the game with 13 points in 26 minutes. He looked extremely rusty in the first half and was settling for terrible off-balanced jump shots. He did much of the same during the 3rd quarter, but the shots were falling. He had 9 points in the 3rd and showed those special Vince glimpses of greatness that we get a few times every month. I imagine I would enjoy these moments a lot more if I wasn’t expecting him to tear his ACL any second.
- The second unit had generally been playing poorly all year, especially when all in together. However, they played strong tonight with the exception of Marcin Gortat. Gortat seemed a step slow all night. Redick and Pietrus’ shooting, combined 5-11 from 3-point distance, provided the major spark that propelled the Magic back into the lead. The team trailed 72-69 with 7 minutes left in the game, when MP and J.J. hit back to back three pointers.
- Ben Wallace grabbed his 10,000th career rebound tonight.
- Want further proof that the Magic defensive effort increased as the game went on? The Pistons team shooting percentages after each quarter are as follows: 55.6%, 48.7%, 46.2% and finished with42.7%. It’s increasingly annoying that the Magic aren’t playing hard until the second half, but they continue to win so it’s hard to get too down on the team.
- 8 of the next 10 games for the Magic are on the road. It will be very interesting to see how this team responds to the challenge and if they will be able to show the mental toughness necessary to continue placing W’s in the win column.
The Magic are back in action tomorrow night in Chicago and Carlos Boozer is expected to make his Bulls debut. The game is set for 8pm and will be broadcast on Sun Sports.