The Detroit Pistons snapped a four-game losing streak with a
103-87 romp past the Orlando Magic. Point guard Brandon Jennings
overcame a slow start to score 20 points — the fourth straight game
he reached the 20-point mark — as the Pistons won for just the
second time in their last 10 home games.
"We just had to get a win," Detroit coach Mo Cheeks said. "I kept
telling the guys that we were close. There were a few games we
should have won, but we just didn't finish the game. Tonight, we
pretty much played a full game."
The retooled Pistons entered the season with high hopes of achieving
their first winning season in six years and a playoff berth. The
only thing keeping them in the race now is the weakness within the
"There's a lot of bad things roaming in the air, a lot of negative
energy, so we're just happy to get a win," reserve Pistons guard
Will Bynum said. "Defensively, we attacked, we hit first and we
shared the basketball at the offensive end. And when they went on a
run, we answered back, stayed positive and kept responding."
Forward Josh Smith contributed 16 points for the Pistons (18-27),
while center Andre Drummond notched his Eastern Conference-high 33rd
double-double with 13 points and 17 rebounds. Drummond bounced back
from a four-point, six-rebound outing at Dallas on Sunday in which
he was benched early in the second half.
"Last game was a tough game," he said. "I didn't play to my ability.
Everybody is entitled to have an off night. I had to come out and
play with a lot more energy than I had the night before."
Guard Rodney Stuckey added 13 points for Detroit while surpassing
6,000 points for his career, and forward Kyle Singler chipped in 12.
The Pistons held an opponent under 100 points for just the sixth
time in their last 25 games. The Magic's point total was the fewest
the Pistons had allowed since Chicago scored 75 points against them
on Dec. 7.
"We really emphasized that today in the shootaround, the defensive
aspect of the game, and it showed," Drummond said. "We were
communicating and in the right spots defensively."
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Guard Victor Oladipo's 19 points led the Magic (12-34), who have
dropped 14 of 16 with nine consecutive road losses. Forward Tobias
Harris and shooting guard Arron Afflalo had 14 points apiece.
Orlando shot 41.6 percent from the field and 60 percent from the
"It's just an unfortunate circumstance of being a young team,"
Afflalo said. "It takes extreme discipline and extreme fortitude to
stay defensive-minded when your offense is kind of absent. Those
things just come through winning and come through growth."
The Pistons outscored the Magic 44-22 in the paint and out-rebounded
Orlando 56-40. That board work helped with Detroit's transition
game, as it out-scored the Magic 20-7 on the break.
"We have to do a better job with transition defense," Afflalo said.
"A big part of tonight was offensive rebounding by the Pistons."
The Pistons scored nine unanswered points during the third quarter
to take control. With his team leading 61-55, Singler made a
3-pointer and then cut to the basket for a layup. Smith followed
with a layup and found forward Greg Monroe for another.
Detroit nudged the lead to 18 points, 78-60, by the end of the
quarter and was never threatened in the fourth.
NOTES: Magic F Jason Maxiell, an ex-Piston, started for the 13th
time this season after playing in just one of the previous seven
games. ... Orlando C Nikola Vucevic missed his 12th consecutive game
because of a concussion. ... The Magic fell to 0-23 when getting
outrebounded. ... Orlando made a 3-pointer for the 538th consecutive
game. ... The Magic won the first meeting this season 109-92 on Dec.
27. The teams play once more on Feb. 5 in Orlando. ... Detroit won
for the 14th time in its past 18 home games against the Magic. ...
Detroit PG Chauncey Billups, the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player in
2004, was inactive for the eighth game in a row. ... Pistons coach
Mo Cheeks rolled his eyes when asked if he needed to patch things up
with second-year C Andre Drummond, who was taken out 11 seconds into
the second half of a 116-106 loss at Dallas on Sunday. "I really am
from a different era," he said. "A man took me out and I just went
and sat down."
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