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Pistons at Magic final score: Bench carries Pistons in Orlando, 108-104

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Reggie Bullock and Aron Baynes come up big for Detroit, push the Pistons closer to the playoffs.

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

For most of the night, the Pistons didn't look like a team fighting for a playoff spot. With a game slipping away late, the Pistons finally rediscovered a thing called defense and outlasted the Magic 108-104, lowering their magic number to one.

But the Pistons wouldn't let it be easy.

Traveling to Orlando to face the Magic, the Pistons came out looking like they were moving at half speed. They used a quick 11-0 first quarter run to jump out to an early lead thanks to the Magic struggling to hit shots.

But that kind of effort comes back to bite, as Orlando entered the halftime locker room threatening to pull away in the game.

The bench has struggled of late, but they were the difference-makers for the Pistons tonight; particularly Reggie Bullock. Stanley Johnson hasn't looked like himself since returning from his shoulder injury, so Stan Van Gundy gave Bullock a shot as first guard off the bench.

Bullock had been on fire before yielding his spot in the rotation to the rookie, and he picked up right where he left off.

Baynes also was also a tough option off the bench, subbing in for an inefficient and defensively disinterested Andre Drummond. Dre posted 13 points and 16 rebounds but shot just 5-14 from the field and gave up too many points at the rim and too many offensive rebounds.

Orlando held their lead midway through the fourth before the Pistons started their comeback bid. They clung to a slim lead heading into the closing minutes, with neither team able to buy a bucket.

The Magic started fouling down two points with under 30 seconds to go, but Jackson was able to nail four clutch free throws to seal the win.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope finally registered a solid all-around game, shooting 7-10 to finish with 18 points, along with 3 steals.

The Pistons needed this win as the Indiana Pacers took advantage of LeBron James taking the night off to win 118-101.

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