Magic Lose Lead, Fall to Tobias Harris’ Pistons

By on April 7, 2016

 

 Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier (10) guards against Detroit Pistons forward Tobias Harris (34) during the second half.  (photo Reinhold Matay / USA TODAY Sports)

Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier (10) guards against Detroit Pistons forward Tobias Harris (34) during the second half. (photo Reinhold Matay / USA TODAY Sports)

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Magic cooled down on Wednesday night, falling to the Detroit Pistons 104-108 in front of a home crowd at the Amway Center. It was another close game that got away from the Magic, as they allowed a seven-point fourth quarter lead to slip away.

A collection of bad breaks and poor execution did the Magic in, ending with Evan Fournier’s deep three that missed wide left in the closing seconds. The shot would’ve tied the game, as would’ve Aaron Gordon’s open look with two minutes remaining.

The Magic again looked out of sorts as they tried to close a game, and the Pistons capitalized. Detroit point guard Reggie Jackson steadied his team in the fourth quarter, hitting all six of his free throws to stifle Orlando’s many comeback attempts. Jackson would score a game-high 24, and go 9-of-11 from the line on a team that otherwise shot 50 percent at the charity stripe.

Detroit scored 35 points and hit 55 percent of their shots in the fourth quarter, securing the win as Orlando’s defense crumbled.

It was an ugly one from the tipoff, but both teams locked in on offense during the second half.

Orlando struggled mightily with Dewayne Dedmon in the lineup, being outscored 13-4 to start the game. When Magic coach Scott Skiles called a timeout to insert normal starter Nikola Vucevic, the team promptly went on an 8-2 run to close the gap.

Orlando would trail for most of the first half until a pair of Victor Oladipo free throws gave the Magic a one-point lead with two minutes left in the second quarter. They would ride momentum into the half, leading by seven at the break.

Detroit shot 37% in the first half, but caught fire in the second – shooting 55% after halftime. The recently-renovated Magic defense fell back into old habits, allowing Detroit to exploit mismatches and have their way offensively. The Pistons also shot 25 free throws in the second half alone, nearly assuring that each possession would end in points.

When asked how he’s able to make the team focus on defense, Scott Skiles simply said, “I haven’t been able to do that…obviously.” This moment of frustration was the product of a season in which the Magic are 5-10 in games decided by three points or less.

It was a homecoming of sorts for two key members of the Detroit Pistons – head coach Stan Van Gundy, who led the Magic to their second ever Finals appearance back in 2009, and starting forward Tobias Harris, who was dealt to Detroit at this year’s trade deadline.

Harris, who made his first appearance in Orlando since being traded, was met with a standing ovation. “It was good to see that,” said the three-year Magic vet, “It goes to show you come in and handle your business, be professional, respect the organization, don’t burn any bridges, and just be who you are…it goes a long way.”

Harris had a team-high +10 plus/minus, scoring 10 points, grabbing seven rebounds, and hitting two three-pointers on the night.

The Magic (33-45) play a home-and-away series with the Heat in the coming days, seeing Miami at the Amway Center on Friday before road tripping down south to play the Heat on Sunday. Orlando will then play their final home game of the season on Monday against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Pistons
STARTERS MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
M. MorrisPF 33 3-11 1-4 2-4 2 1 3 4 3 0 3 2 -2 9
T. HarrisSF 30 5-11 2-3 1-2 1 6 7 2 1 0 1 4 +10 13
A. DrummondC 33 5-14 0-0 3-6 5 11 16 1 1 4 2 1 +0 13
R. JacksonPG 32 7-18 1-4 9-11 1 3 4 4 0 1 3 1 +2 24
K. Caldwell-PopeSG 36 7-10 2-3 2-3 1 2 3 1 3 0 1 2 +3 18
BENCH MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
A. TolliverPF 18 2-5 1-4 1-3 1 1 2 0 0 0 1 2 -6 6
R. BullockSF 27 5-9 3-6 0-0 1 2 3 6 1 1 0 1 +7 13
A. BaynesC 15 4-5 0-0 1-2 0 4 4 0 0 0 0 2 +4 9
S. BlakePG 16 1-3 1-3 0-0 0 2 2 6 0 0 1 1 +2 3
S. JohnsonSF DNP-COACH’S DECISION
D. HilliardSF DNP-COACH’S DECISION
J. AnthonyC DNP-COACH’S DECISION
S. DinwiddiePG DNP-COACH’S DECISION
TEAM 39-86 11-27 19-31 12 32 44 24 9 6 12 16 108
45.3% 40.7% 61.3%

Magic

STARTERS MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
A. GordonPF 32 3-10 0-2 0-2 2 4 6 4 0 1 1 1 +1 6
D. DedmonC 5 0-0 0-0 0-0 2 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 -9 0
E. PaytonPG 32 8-13 0-1 1-1 1 1 2 5 2 1 3 2 -6 17
E. FournierSG 32 7-15 0-5 5-5 1 2 3 2 0 0 4 4 -20 19
V. OladipoSG 39 5-13 1-2 5-7 0 4 4 3 1 1 2 4 -2 16
BENCH MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
A. NicholsonPF 20 5-7 2-2 2-2 1 5 6 0 1 0 1 1 +7 14
J. SmithPF 16 3-8 0-0 0-0 3 6 9 2 0 2 0 3 +14 6
N. VucevicC 27 7-14 0-0 1-2 2 11 13 3 2 1 1 5 -9 15
B. JenningsPG 16 2-5 1-3 0-0 0 0 0 3 0 0 1 2 -1 5
M. HezonjaSG 20 3-5 0-0 0-0 0 3 3 3 1 1 1 1 +5 6
E. IlyasovaPF DNP-COACH’S DECISION
D. MarbleSF DNP-COACH’S DECISION
C.J. WatsonPG DNP-COACH’S DECISION
TEAM 43-90 4-15 14-19 12 36 48 25 7 8 14 23 104
47.8% 26.7% 73.7%
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