Pistons at Magic Game Preview - February 5, 2014
Regular Season Game #48The Detroit Pistons were just denied their longest win streak in nearly two months by one of the league's top teams. They'll try to bounce back by beating one of the worst for the second time in a little over a week.
Coming off a respectable performance against the defending NBA champions, the Pistons try to avoid a fourth consecutive road loss Wednesday night when they meet the struggling Orlando Magic.
When it visited Miami on Monday, Detroit was attempting to record its first three-game win streak since a season-high, four-game run Dec. 1-7. The Pistons were within four points of the Southeast Division leaders after three quarters but got no closer in a 102-96 loss.
Brandon Jennings scored a team-best 26 points - one above his average in the past six games - and Rodney Stuckey had 20 after being held to one point in a win over Philadelphia on Saturday. The Pistons outrebounded the Heat 51-44, and they forced 21 turnovers but committed 20.
Detroit (19-28) also showed its frustration with four technical fouls.
"We lost by only six points, but a loss is a loss no matter what the number is," said Andre Drummond, who posted his ninth double-double in 10 games. "We will use this as a stepping stone. They've won (the NBA title) two years in a row, so they know what it takes to win and make the smart plays down the stretch of the game."
The Pistons now look to avoid suffering a season-worst fourth straight road defeat for the second time in four weeks. They're 2-7 in road games since Christmas after winning seven of eight.
They had no problems at home against Orlando last Tuesday, leading by no fewer than 14 points in the fourth quarter of a 103-87 victory. With Magic starting center Nikola Vucevic out, Detroit had a 44-22 advantage in points in the paint.
Vucevic's presence made a big difference in the first meeting in Orlando, finishing with 20 points and 11 rebounds as the Magic won 109-92 on Dec. 27. He's played four games after missing 12 with a concussion and has double-doubles in three of them, but the team has gone 1-3.
Orlando (13-37) has lost 17 of 20 overall and owns the NBA's second-worst record.
The Magic shot 39.8 percent from the field and had their worst scoring performance of the season in a 98-79 loss to Indiana on Monday.
"They just did a great job of making us take tough shots," said rookie Victor Oladipo, who again started at point guard for Jameer Nelson (knee). "It's something we need to learn from."
Oladipo tied a season high with 11 assists but shot 2 of 11 from the field for six points. He's shooting 25.5 percent over the past four games.
It's possible Nelson will return for the Magic, who will look to tie their season high with a third straight home win. They're averaging 109.2 points in the last six games at the Amway Center, 13.3 more than their overall average.