Eight days ago the Detroit Pistons laid a beat down on the Orlando Magic. Tonight Orlando repaid the favor. The Magic beat the Pistons 112-98 in a game where they took control in the second quarter and never looked back.
A back-and-fourth first quarter showed from the beginning that the Pistons didn’t bring the proper focus into a game against a team that they had just beaten. After the first, the score was tied at 26, and the Pistons had failed to jump on a floundering Magic team early.
The second quarter belonged to Orlando decisively. They got it rolling on offense behind rookie Victor Oladipo who scored 20 points total off the bench. The Pistons played with no intensity on defense in the process of allowing 31 points in the quarter and falling behind by 14 at the half.
After some halftime adjustments the Pistons did a good job of scoring the ball in the third quarter. Detroit was able to get the ball to Greg Monroe who did a tremendous job creating his shot at first, but then also creating shots for others. Monroe had 8 points in a quarter where the Pistons were able to put 31 on the scoreboard. The problem was that Detroit’s defense once again let them down, and they too surrendered 31 points. One thing any coach will tell you is surrendering two 30 point quarters isn’t exactly a recipe for success, and the Pistons managed to do that in back-to-back quarters.
The Pistons began the fourth with a run behind Josh Smith. Smith was able to get some rhythm offensively in the second half where he scored 17 of his 25 points. The Pistons cut the deficit to 10 repeatedly but Orlando responded every time. The back-breaker came with just over 7 minutes left when Brandon Jennings drove to the hoop and was swatted by Kyle O’Quinn. The Pistons got the rebound and Jennings took it right back at O’Quinn who proceeded to swat Jennings again starting a fast break. O’Quinn then sprinted the floor, got the ball on a drop off, and converted a layup to stretch the lead back to 14. The Magic coasted from that point on.
Glen Davis had 18 points and Arron Afflalo chipped in 15 for a Mgic team that struggles to score, but put up 112 points tonight.
The Pistons simply didn’t bring the energy they needed on the road. Detroit was out-rebounded 44-36 by a much smaller Orlando team. A sign they didn’t fully bring it tonight. They will look to rebound literally, and figuratively on Friday night at home against the Brooklyn Nets.
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