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Magic ride 2nd-half run to 90-74 win over Pistons

Associated Press Modified: November 21, 2012 at 10:16 pm •  Published: November 21, 2012
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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — In its first matchup with Detroit last week, Orlando survived a bruising effort by the Pistons' big men and made just enough shots down the stretch to grind out a tough road win.

For Round 2, the Magic didn't have to sweat as much. This time, they got all the help they needed from the Pistons.

Andrew Nicholson scored 15 points, Glen Davis had 11 points and 14 rebounds, and Orlando used a 21-0 run to open the third quarter to earn a 90-74 victory over Detroit on Wednesday night.

"I didn't think we shot particularly well, but we played well together," said Magic guard J.J. Redick, who finished with 11 points.

For a Magic team struggling to find itself amid key injuries, a youthful roster and a brand new system, it was a needed spark during a challenging first month.

"I think it was just great concentration coming out of halftime and guys were focused and it showed," Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said.

Orlando struggled to compete with Detroit's big men early, but used the third-quarter spurt to blow open the game. The surge included a more than 10-minute scoring drought by the Pistons.

Greg Monroe scored 19 points and Rodney Stuckey added 13 for Detroit, which connected on just 28 of its 85 field goal attempts for the night. For the second half alone, the Pistons were a dismal 8 of 44, or 18 percent.

The Magic stopped a two-game losing streak. They continue a five-game homestand Friday against Cleveland.

The Pistons lost to the Magic for the second time in a week. They return home Friday to host Toronto.

"I wish I could explain it to you," Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said. "I didn't like the way we played there and then to open the third quarter was embarrassing."

Detroit led 48-45 entering the third quarter, but went ice cold from the field, missing its first 15 shots and committing five turnovers to allow Orlando to take a 66-48 lead.

The Pistons finally got their first points of the quarter on a pair of free throws by Stuckey, but didn't end their field goal drought until the 1:59 mark.

"They have been executing coming down the stretch," Monroe said of the Magic in their two meetings this season. "I think we lost our focus and what we need to do to win games ... the things that have happened these last couple of games is on us."

Frank said after the Magic trimmed what had been a 10-point edge to single digits late in the first half, "we had no energy to start."

Gone, too, was the inside presence they depend on.

"We lost it, we just lost," Frank said. "Once they hit us we just lost our poise."

The Magic got points from all over the place during the game-changing run, including some open 3-pointers and easy layups.

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