Redick helps Orlando fend off Detroit
Auburn Hills, MI (Sports Network) - J.J. Redick led the Magic with 17 points and hit three clutch free throws in the waning moments to help Orlando hold off a late charge from Detroit in a 91-86 final at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
Dwight Howard had 16 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks for the Magic, who got 15 points from Rashard Lewis and 14 from Mickael Pietrus. Orlando has won two in a row and six of its last seven games.
Rodney Stuckey posted 18 points and seven assists for the Pistons, who lost the final five games of a six-game homestand. Jonas Jerebko checked in with 16 points and nine rebounds. Richard Hamilton had 14 points and Tayshaun Prince 12 in defeat.
"When you're going through a stretch like this and we talk about it being a work in progress and whatever - our guys really competed tonight," Pistons head coach John Kuester said.
Following a poor shooting effort for most of the game, Orlando moved in front, 69-65, to begin the fourth on an Anthony Johnson runner and a three-ball by Pietrus.
A Ben Gordon basket tied things up moments later, but the Magic were quickly back in front courtesy of a Redick three. Orlando held a slim lead until back- to-back jump shots by Prince and Hamilton again knotted the score with less than four minutes remaining.
The three-point shot again lifted the visitors as Pietrus dropped one on the other end and Lewis followed with a layup. But it was quickly a one-point game as Stuckey hit a short deuce and Hamilton got to the line for two free throws that made it 84-83 with 1:35 left.
Redick then drew a foul on Hamilton, and sank three foul shots to make it a two-possession game. They proved to be huge as Prince drained a three with 58.4 seconds to go.
The Magic then sealed the win at the stripe. Lewis hit two with 9.5 seconds on the clock for an 89-86 difference, and Gordon threw the ball away on Detroit's next possession after being unable to get a good look from behind the arc. Johnson then hit two from the line to wrap things up.
"We knew that they were going to come back and instead of us giving up, we got the win and that is all that we can ask for," said Howard. "When they had a small lead, we felt the whole game that we were still going to win this game."
Orlando led 29-21 after the opening quarter and were up a dozen points, 48-36, after Pietrus knocked down a three with about 3 1/2 minutes left until halftime. Detroit, though, ripped off the final nine points of the half led by Jerebko's five to get within 48-45.
The Pistons were able to move in front early in the second half while Orlando continued to struggle scoring. The Magic had one field goal following the Pietrus triple until Jason Williams hit a jumper with 5:43 remaining in the third quarter.
Detroit, though, did little with the opportunity and only led 56-52 following the bucket. The Magic turned things around, somewhat, heading toward the fourth and a Redick basket cut the deficit to 65-64 at the end of the frame.
The Magic are 14-12 on the road this season, while Detroit is 11-14 at home...The Pistons had won five of the last seven matchups coming in...Orlando snapped a three-game losing streak at The Palace...Pietrus limped off in the fourth with an apparent right ankle injury after landing on a Pistons' player's foot...Lewis also had seven boards and four assists for Orlando...The Pistons shot just 39.2 percent from the floor.