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News » Pistons-Magic Preview 2009-11-06


Pistons-Magic Preview 2009-11-06


Pistons-Magic Preview 2009-11-06When Detroit and Orlando met three nights ago, the Pistons knew to have any chance at winning, they needed to level the playing field and make Magic center Dwight Howard a non-factor. The strategy worked and Detroit won.

After bouncing back from that disappointing defeat with an impressive performance, Howard and the Magic look to avenge their only loss of the season when they host the Pistons on Friday night.

With Howard receiving minimal resistance, Orlando (4-1) had little trouble winning its first three games as the three-time All-Star averaged 21.7 points on 62.9 percent shooting and 16.0 rebounds.

The Pistons (2-3) offered the intimidating big man a much stiffer test Tuesday.

With Richard Hamilton (right ankle) and Tayshaun Prince (sore lower back) out, Detroit featured a smaller lineup and went right after Howard, frustrating him into fouling out just 17 minutes into the Pistons' 85-80 win. Howard finished with eight points and five rebounds, and also re-aggravated a shoulder injury sustained in Sunday's 125-116 victory at Toronto.

"We knew if we could get Dwight into foul trouble, they'd be in trouble, because we'd have an open path to the basket," Detroit point guard Will Bynum said after that game. "So we just tried to keep attacking."

The Pistons have had a little history of frustrating the Magic, winning four straight in the series, but that was the first time they got Howard to foul out. He averaged 22.0 points and 15.0 rebounds in three meetings last season.

While Howard struggled against the Pistons, he and his teammates bounced back nicely in Wednesday's 122-100 win over previously unbeaten Phoenix.

The frontcourt led the way with Howard finishing with 25 points and six rebounds while Ryan Anderson had 20 points and 10 boards.

Orlando shot 52.3 percent from the field and won despite playing without Vince Carter and Rashard Lewis.

Carter's sprained left ankle doesn't appear to be too serious and he could be back for this contest while Lewis has been suspended for the first 10 games after testing positive for an elevated level of testosterone.

The 6-foot-10 Anderson, who came over in the trade with Carter from New Jersey this summer, is doing a solid job as Lewis' replacement. He's averaging 15.8 points on 44.1 percent shooting from beyond the arc, but struggled against the Pistons, finishing with seven points on 1 of 11 shooting from 3-point range.

Still, coach Stan Van Gundy was impressed with how Anderson was able to rebound from that performance.

"I think his response was pretty good for a 21-year-old guy coming off of missing 10 3's," Van Gundy said. "That was a good sign."

While the Magic responded from the tough loss at Detroit with a win, the Pistons followed up that victory with a 110-99 defeat at Toronto.

The Raptors scored 44 points in the second quarter and became the first team this season to score more than 100 points against Detroit, which entered the contest second in the NBA behind Boston in scoring defense at 85.3.

"Needless to say, you let anybody in the league score that many points and it's going to be tough to counter that," said Ben Gordon, who scored a season-high 30 points.

With Hamilton and Prince both listed as out for this game, the Pistons are counting on Gordon to continue to carry the offense.

Gordon had 23 points against the Magic and has led Detroit in scoring in each of the last four games.


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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 6, 2009

 

 
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