Wallace and the Pistons seek a fifth straight victory as they visit the fading Orlando Magic.
A member of the NBA all-defensive team the past three seasons, Wallace had 21 points and 18 rebounds as the Pistons reduced their magic number for clinching the Central Division to four with a 105-93 victory over Washington on Wednesday night.
Wallace finished 8-of-13 from the floor and had a career-best 13-point first quarter, including a rare 3-pointer to beat the shot clock that give the Pistons a nine-point lead with 37 seconds left in the period.
“Everyone on the team has been telling me to shoot the ball more, so I figured they must know something,” said Wallace, who’s averaging 14.8 points in his last four games. “They’ve been doing a great job of getting me the ball where I can do something with it instead of just being an emergency option.”
The 3-pointer, the fourth of Wallace’s career, came on a 26-foot bank shot.
“I don’t care what he says, he didn’t mean to do that,” Pistons guard Lindsey Hunter said of the ball going in off the backboard.
The Magic have lost three of four and are 2 1/2 games behind the Philadelphia 76ers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Rookie Dwight Howard had 14 points, 15 rebounds and a season-high seven blocks for the Magic, who had a season-best 15 blocks but committed 22 turnovers.
“It may look bleak, but I’ve seen stranger things happen,” Orlando coach Chris Jent said of his team’s postseason chances. “But we can’t keep saying that.”
The Magic’s fortunes hinge largely on the health of forward Grant Hill, who has missed the last three games with a sore left shin and won’t play Friday. Hill is averaging 19.7 points in 67 games, the most he’s played since appearing in 74 contests in 1999-00—his final season with the Pistons.
Plagued by ankle problems, the six-time All-Star was limited to 47 games over the previous three seasons.