The Detroit Pistons (6-11) defeated the short-handed Orlando Magic (6-10) at home 103-88. Early on, Orlando looked like they were going to run away with an easy victory, but Detroit stayed on Orlando’s trail before taking the lead for good late in the third quarter.
Magic guard Markelle Fultz started the game on fire, scoring eight of his 16 points in the first quarter. Pistons center Andre Drummond picked up two fouls in the first quarter and picked up another one in the second to give him three in the first half, but Drummond did not commit another foul throughout the game. Coming into tonight’s game, Drummond led the league in personal fouls with 4.3 fouls per game. Orlando finished the first quarter on a 16-to-3 run to give the Magic a 31-23 lead over Detroit. Orlando’s bench led the charge in the first quarter by scoring 14 points. The Pistons bench, uncharacteristically, scored only three points in the first quarter.
Former Pistons guard D. J. Augustin hit a three-pointer to open the second quarter to open up Orlando’s lead, but Pistons forward Markieff Morris hit a three-point shot of his own on the next possession. The Pistons went on a 16-to-4 run of their own to give themselves a 39-38 lead in the second quarter. To end the half, the Pistons trailed the Magic 55-53.
The Pistons went on a 7-0 run towards the beginning of the third quarter to give themselves a 60-58 lead over the Magic. The Pistons eventually took the lead 78-69 to end the third quarter and did not trail for the rest of the game.
The Pistons were led by third-year guard Luke Kennard, who scored 20 points to go along with seven assists and four rebounds in tonight’s victory. Pistons All-Star forward Blake Griffin finished tonight’s game with 17 points while grabbing five rebounds. Pistons guard Sviatoslav (Svi) Mykhailiuk tied his career-high off the bench tonight with 12 points. Andre Drummond finished tonight’s game with just seven points but was able to pull down 18 rebounds.
Leading Orlando in scoring was “The Human Torch” Terrence Ross, who finished tonight’s game with 19 points off the Magic’s bench, with 10 of those points coming in the second quarter. Orlando’s All-Star center Nikola Vucevic (right ankle) and forward Aaron Gordon (right ankle) did not play tonight.
The Pistons will have tomorrow off before returning to action this Wednesday on the road against the Charlotte Hornets at 7 PM.