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Don't Call Him Superman: Magic 116, Pistons 91

What Happened:

The gasometer was teetering E all game, but it finally hit it in the fourth quarter.

The Pistons were outscored 33-14 in the final quarter (60-36 in the 2nd half) and fell by 25 to the second ranked team in the Eastern Conference.

Dwight Howard, FKA Superman, was in full-blown beast mode, racking up a season-high (and career-high against the Pistons) 33 points, 17 rebounds, and seven blocked shots. Although he averages 17+ points and 12+ rebounds against the Pistons in his career, and has had his fair share of dominating performances, this one really stood out more than usual -- maybe it was the career-high, maybe it was the 25 point loss, or maybe it was the Ritalin I took earlier today.

The Good:

Richard Hamilton. Speaking of beast mode... Hamilton sent a strong message to the rest of the league that there is a trade piece in Detroit that could really help out a team in contention. Rip scored a game-high 36 points and collected five rebounds. What's most impressive is that he scored his 36 points in just 36+ minutes and with a 82 TS%.

The Bad:

As a fan of Ben Gordon, it does not bring me great pleasure that BG seems to be setting up a tent in 'the bad.' Six points on 3-8 shooting, four turnovers, and an ejection for saying a couple choice words to the ref after J. 'dick threw a 'bow b-slap is a bad stat line. It was nice to see him get a little fired up, though, so maybe he'll translate that into some baskets next game.

Charlie Villanueva only saw 3+ minutes. Injured? Benched?

The Oh, I Don't Know Unsung Hero:

No, really. I don't know. When in doubt, vote Jonas?

Tayshaun was just 5-14 shooting, but he did put up his normal, and average, 13 points and eight rebounds.

The Takeaway:

Back-to-backs are tough as it is, so it doesn't help when the back end is in Orlando. Virtually zero production from your two big off-season signees and a monster game from Dwight Howard certainly doesn't help either.

I think everyone would (and should) agree that the Pistons aren't going to make the playoffs. So if you want something to takeaway from an otherwise meaningless game, you can take the positives in Rip (and kind of Tay) improving trade value, that it was a competitive game (and somewhat fun to watch) for three and a half quarters, and the Pistons helped their odds, as slim as they may be, in landing a star in the lottery. All in all, not an ideal night, but not the worst night ever. Here's to tomorrow's 3 PM EST deadline.