The Detroit Pistons appeared to be rolling to a comfortable home victory over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night. But this is the NBA, and everyone makes a run.
The Magic cut what was once a 21-point deficit down to two before the Pistons reasserted themselves just enough to hang on for a 128-118 victory.
The Pistons were in the driver’s seat for the first 36 minutes of action. After dropping a season-high 35 spot in the first, Detroit followed up with 30 more in the second, coasting to a 65-48 halftime advantage. The intermission statistics could have easily been mistaken for a full game’s effort. Greg Monroe poured in 20 points and 8 rebounds before the break while Brandon Jennings dished out 11 assists.
Jennings was masterful all evening. Reentering the contest midway through Orlando’s fourth quarter 23-6 run, Jennings restored order, helping the Pistons reinstate their double digit advantage. In all, Jennings finished with 24 points and 21 assists, the latter of which stands as a new career high. Jennings systematically deconstructed the Magic defense through the pick & roll, endlessly moseying into the paint for an opportunistic dish or open finish at the rim.
On the receiving end of many of Jennings’ feeds throughout the evening were frontcourt bash brothers Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe. Both registered double doubles as Drummond tallied 26 & 17 and Monroe countered with 24 & 10. Yes, that’s a combined 50 and 27, folks.
Nikola Vucevic led the Magic with 26 points and 13 rebounds.
Key Notes & Observations
- Kyle Singler hit 4 of his 5 attempts from deep against Orlando, padding an already impressive .424 from the arc on the season.
- DSN’s Ky Carlin Stat of the Night: Brandon Jennings’ performance is the first 20 point, 20 assist performance since Steve in 2009.
- Anthony Tolliver brought forth another strong performance off the bench, scoring 9 points, grabbing 7 rebounds and putting his body on the line for an impressive diving save midway through the first half.
Next Game: Saturday, Jan. 24; Detroit Pistons @ Milwaukee Bucks; 7:30 p.m., FSD, NBA TV