The Orlando Magic dominated the Detroit Pistons, picking up one of their best victories of the season, a 119-89 win.
Jason Richardson had a game-high 22 points to lead five Magic players in double figures while Tayshaun Prince led the Pistons with 21 points.
Orlando played one of their most complete games of the season. Sure the Pistons aren’t exactly world-beaters, but the Magic were without Dwight Howard and both Ryan Anderson (sprained ankle) and Quentin Richardson (sore back) were playing their first game since returning from their injuries.
The Magic didn’t do a whole lot wrong on Monday night. They shot 52.5% from the field, knocked down 15 of their 28 three-point attempt, posted an effective field goal percentage of 61.9% and even shot 83.3% from the free throw line (20-of-24). The Magic turned the ball over just 11 times and and outrebounded the Pistons by 11. On the other side, the Pistons shot just 40.5% from the field and the only real complaint you could have from a Magic standpoint is that the Pistons got to the line 26 times and earned nearly a quarter of their points (22) from the stripe.
“Our competitive level was very high,” head coach Stan Van Gundy explained. “Let’s hope we make this a habit.”
Glen Davis continued his recent string of good play. Big Baby had a double-double in the early point of the second quarter and finished with 16 points and 16 rebounds in 35 minutes. Davis also dished out five assists, a number Van Gundy was impressed with after the game.
With all five of Orlando’s starters scoring at least 14 points, ball movement was obviously a big key.
“Everybody moved the ball,” Van Gundy said. “Everyone deserves credit but a lot of that was Glen and Daniel (Orton). Just constantly running those pick-and-rolls. We either get something on the roll or it sucks the defense in and people are open.”
Jason Richardson has really struggled this season, especially lately, but Orlando’s normal two, who has started the last three games at the three spot, had one of his most efficient games of the season, scoring 22 points on just 10 shots – he was 6-of-7 from beyond the arc. J.J. Redick also had a big day, scoring 20 points on 10 shots, including four three-pointers.
Ish Smith, playing for Chris Duhon, who was suspended for missing shootaround and not informing the team until afterwards, scored six points and dished out seven assists in just under 19 minutes.
“Ish played extremely well,” Van Gundy said. “I thought Ish was fantastic tonight.”
- Jameer Nelson scored 18 points on just nine shots and dished out nine assists.
- As a team, the Magic assisted on 28 of their 43 field goals.
- Ryan Anderson played just under 23 minutes in his return from a sprained right ankle and managed to score 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting. He also grabbed seven rebounds.
- Quentin Richardson returned from his sore back and scored eight points in 25 minutes.
- The Magic got to empty the bench in the fourth quarter. Justin Harper (four points), Daniel Orton (0 points, three rebounds) and Von Wafer (eight points, four rebounds) joined Smith and Earl Clark (three points, five rebounds) at the end of the game.
Next Up: The Magic will be in Washington, D.C. to take on the Wizards Tuesday night.
Final Thought: Nothing to complain about tonight. The Magic were without Dwight Howard and they destroyed the Pistons.
(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN Florida’s Magic Insider (http://ESPNFlorida.com) and is the co-host of the ESPNFlorida.com Insiders Show Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here)
Tags: Ben Gordon Ben Wallace Brandon Knight Chris Duhon Dwight Howard Eal Clark Greg Monroe Hedo Turkoglu J.j. Redick Jameer Nelson Jason Maxiel Jason Richardson Joe Dumars Jonas Jerebko Larry Hughes Orlando Magic Otis Smith Quentin Richardson Rodney Stuckey Ryan Anderson Stan Van Gundy Tayshaun Prince Von Wafer