The Detroit Pistons are starting to regain their championship form.
The Pistons look to extend their winning streak to seven games as they visit the Orlando Magic at the TD Waterhouse Centre.
Detroit, which began the year 12-12, has won six games in a row—and 11 of 13—to move a half-game ahead of idle Cleveland for first place in the Central Division.
“Hopefully, we can stay at this level and continue to get better,” Pistons guard Chauncey Billups said.
Forward Tayshaun Prince has propelled Detroit’s latest surge by taking on more of the scoring load of late.
Prince scored a career-high 26 points to lead the Pistons past the Phoenix Suns 94-80 on Monday.
Prince was modest after the best offensive game in his NBA career.
“I definitely have to credit my teammates, especially the guys inside,” said Prince, who scored on an assortment of dunks, runners, mid-range jumpers and a 3-pointer. “When they play that way, it just opens things up.”
Prince has averaged 20.3 points in his last three games, about eight above his average, and made the game-winning shot Saturday against Philadelphia. In five of the last 13 games, the third-year player known for his defense has scored at least 18 points.
“The last three weeks, he has had a stretch as good as any young player is going to have,” Pistons coach Larry Brown said.
The Magic have been getting some excellent production from one of their role players too.
Turkoglu, who was inserted into the starting lineup after the Magic traded Cuttino Mobley to Sacramento, had 19 points in the first half. The new role is suiting Turkoglu—he’s averaging 18.7 points and six rebounds in his three starts.
“The trade will allow him to flourish a little bit more,” Hill said. “I’ve seen him everyday since training camp and I think he’s an All-Star in the making.”