They beat the Pistons anyway -- so when Orlando arrived short-handed again on Tuesday night, Detroit’s Tayshaun Prince reminded his teammates.
“I brought that up,” Prince said. “When guys are out, you can’t say, ‘OK, this is going to be an easy night for us, and we should be able to do whatever we want.’ So I let that be known to those guys before the game’.” Heeding Prince’s warning, the Pistons pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 102-95 victory over Orlando. Greg Monroe had 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Ben Gordon added 18 points for Detroit.
The Magic were without starters Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson and Ryan Anderson because of injuries. Glen Davis, who started at center in Howard’s place, led Orlando with a career-high 31 points.
The Magic have lost four straight, equaling their longest skid of the season. Turkish forward Hidayet “Hedo” Turkoğlu added 16 points, two rebounds and three assists for the Magic but it was enough to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. “We don’t play any defense. Dwight would obviously help, but we don’t guard,” Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. “We don’t guard when Dwight is on the floor and we don’t guard when Dwight is off the floor. If that doesn’t change in the next three weeks, we aren’t going anywhere.” Orlando managed only four offensive rebounds without Howard, who was out with back spasms. Nelson had a sore left calf and Anderson has been bothered by a sprained right ankle.
Prince and Jason Maxiell scored 15 points apiece, and Jonas Jerebko contributed 13 for the Pistons. Detroit shot 12 of 18 from the field in the fourth quarter.
Other NBA results (home team in CAPS): San Antonio 125, CLEVELAND 90; INDIANA 112, NY Knicks 104; TORONTO 92, Charlotte 87; MIAMI 99, Philadelphia 93.