Afflalo continued his quiet, efficient and effective role with 23
points on nine of 11 shooting to lead Orlando to an easy 109-92
victory over the Detroit Pistons.
He also had a hand in shutting out Detroit's starter at shooting
guard, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (no points, no assists), and his
backup, Rodney Stuckey (six points, no assists).
"People need to recognize what an all-star is because Arron is
playing at an All-Star level," teammate Jameer Nelson said. "He's
not out there ball hogging or stat-chasing every night. He's just
doing what he's supposed to do, hitting shots when we can get him
the ball and sharing the load when we can't."
"I'm not going to touch the All-Star stuff, but will I tell the
other coaches how great he's been for us, how impressive he's been
for us, yes, definitely," Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said. "I don't
think you can pick too many spots in the game where he's rushing to
take shots or make shots. Whether we're in transition or in
half-court, he's been very comfortable and very efficient."
Afflalo had plenty of help against the Pistons, though he really
didn't need much. Detroit made little and sometimes no effort at the
defensive end, allowing every Magic player time and space to get
shots from just about anywhere they wanted.
Magic center Nik Vucevic scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds;
rookie Victor Oladipo had 16 points and 11 assists; Tobias Harris
added 16 points and 10 rebounds and Glen Davis had 14 points and
"The name of the game is to get everyone contributing something and
that's what happened tonight," Harris said. "But it all starts with
Arron. He really does a lot for us. He's so efficient and so good at
keeping everyone else involved. We can be a pretty good team when
Detroit got 21 points from Brandon Jennings and 18 points from his
backup, Will Bynum, but precious little from anyone else. Center
Andre Drummond contributed 10 points and 11 rebounds, no other
Piston reached double figures in either category.
"One guy (Jennings) having a game is not something that thrills me
when we get beat the way we got beat," Detroit coach Maurice Cheeks
said. "They pushed the ball down our throats and we didn't make any
shots. We got a couple of stops in the third quarter, but didn't
make any shots and it went downhill from there."
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"No excuses, we just didn't have it tonight," Jennings said.
"Arron Afflalo played well for them, but he's been playing well
all season. We just had no sense of urgency. We never matched
their energy all night."
Detroit ignored virtually everyone in a Magic uniform early in
the game and never caught up. Afflalo scored 12 points in the
first half, Harris and Oladipo had 10 apiece and Davis and
Vucevic eight each as the Magic had their way on offense.
Orlando shot 56.4 percent and led by as many as 12 points before
settling for a 55-48 halftime advantage.
Jennings hit six of 11 shots and kept the Pistons in the game
with 18 points and three assists in the first half, but he was
essentially a one-man show. The rest of Detroit's starting five
was seven-for-22 from the field, including two of 10 from
forward Josh Smith, who finished the game with six points and
missed all three shot attempts in the second half.
The inattention to defense caught up with Detroit in the third
period when Orlando outscored the visitors 30-18 to stretch the
lead to 85-66 going into the fourth period.
Orlando led 61-52 when Afflalo started the runaway with a
3-pointer and a pair of free throws. As had been the custom the
whole night, teammates Nelson, forward Jason Maxiell and Harris
jumped in to help, adding three more jumpers to finish off an
11-0 run that made it 72-52 with 6:04 left in the third quarter.
The closest the Pistons came was 15 points the rest of the game.
NOTES: Magic G Arron Aflalo is averaging career highs in points
(21.9), rebounds (4.6), assists (3.9) and 3-point shooting
percentage (43.7 percent). ... Pistons C Andre Drummond leads
the NBA in offensive rebounding with 5.2 per game. ... Detroit
is tied for second-most road wins in the Eastern Conference. The
Pistons are 8-6 away from home, including victories at Miami and
Indiana. ... The Magic have used eight starting lineups this
season, but won with only two of them. Six of the starting
lineups are winless, including the five that started against
Detroit: Glen Davis, Tobias Harris, Nik Vucevic, Arron Afflalo
and Jameer Nelson. ... Pistons reserve G Rodney Stuckey is third
in the NBA and leads the Eastern Conference in scoring off the
bench at 14.9 points a game. ... The Magic honored Pat Garrity
during the game. Garrity played nine seasons for the Magic,
hitting 631 3-pointers and shooting 39.8 percent from behind the
arc. ... Pistons F Kyle Singler has scored in double figures
four straight games.
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