It didn't start pretty, but the Pistons battled back from a 22-11 first quarter deficit to take a 54-52 lead going into the Busta Rhymes halftime show. In the third, the Pistons took it to the Magic, pushing their lead to 16 before the fourth.
Greg Monroe was at the
center front court of the Pistons' success in the third, scoring 10 points and assisting on another four (that's 14, which is all of what Orlando scored in the quarter). During one stretch midway through the quarter, Mo_Ose had eight straight Pistons points. He would finish the game with 16 points and six rebounds, only the second time in his last nine games he hasn't recorded a double double.
Jason Maxiell and Andre Drummond picked up the double-double slack, though. Maxiell had 11 points and 11 rebounds in the game, all rebounds coming in the first half. Drummond, in 24 minutes, also put up 11 and 11 to go along with two blocks, two steals and plenty of highlights.
The Pistons took advantage of the undersized Magic early and often, forcing the Magic into foul trouble and allowing Maxiell and Monroe to connect on nine first-half free throws, which was more than the Magic attempted all game. The Pistons collected 10 extra offensive rebounds and 13 rebounds overall. The size advantage also worked for the lob Motor City show that took place (Rodney Stuckey!) -- the Pistons scored 18 of their 54 points in the paint on slam dunk shots.
With the win, and a Celtics loss tonight, the Pistons are now just four games back in the Eastern Conference for that coveted No. 8 spot and right to lose to the Heat in the first round. The Pistons are 7-3 in their last 10 games and have won nine of their last 13. The Coming...
- Will Bynum continues to show point guardyness and chemistry with Andre Drummond. Both Stuckey and Brandon Knight screwed up lobs to Drummond, although in fairness, Drummond has led people to believe he could dunk anything. Bynum finished with 15 points and six assists and just one turnover.
- Stuckey started the fourth quarter with seven straight Pistons points to extend the lead to as many as 21. He finished with a fine 14.
- Knight shot too much (17), but I thought he overall played a good game. His defense is much improved of late and he made good passes when he actually decided to pass. His box score line of 18, 5, 4 and 3 would suffice, but again he took a lot of shots and there's a pesky 4 in the turnover column (although three weren't necessarily his fault - two on dropped passes and one when getting mugged at the end of the first half).
- Box score
- Orlando Pinstriped Post
- Roll Call!
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