The Detroit Pistons jumped out to an early lead Wednesday night against the Orlando Magic, looking like they might coast to an easy win. But unfortunately, the Pistons don't work that way.
After leading by as much as 18 in just the first quarter, the Magic surged back. They ran things back to a four point gap in the second quarter as neither team played much defense on this evening.
Detroit had all sorts of trouble stopping Orlando, especially in the middle quarters. The Magic scored 36 in the second and 30 in the third.
But the difference was the Detroit muscle. The Pistons media has pushed that theme all season, but the team hasn't always followed suit. Tonight they did.
Andre Drummond scored 30 on 14-20 shooting with 14 rebounds and 2 blocks. Aron Baynes scored 13 on 4-5 shooting. The bulk of the Pistons seemed to be the turning point in the game, especially with the Magic's key player Nikola Vucevic still sidelined.
Dewayne Dedmon, filling in for Vucevic, gave Drummond fits early in the game. But Dre recovered to have an absolutely dominant second half. When Dre was benched for Hack-A-Dre, Baynes made Orlando coach Scott Skiles pay.
It was an important win in its own right, but even more so since the Chicago Bulls look to lose against the New York Knicks at the time of this writing. That'll be enough to push the Pistons back into playoff position in the Eastern Conference.
The Pistons get another chance at the Charlotte Hornets on Friday, but in the meantime be sure to cheer hard for the Anthony Davis-less New Orleans Pelicans tomorrow night. A seabird win would put the Pistons into the 7 spot for the playoffs.