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Pistons 104, Magic 102

The SportsXchange

ORLANDO - Brandon Knight scored nine of his career-high 31 points in the final six minutes Sunday night, leading the Detroit Pistons to a 104-102 victory over the Orlando Magic.

The Pistons (17-27) also got 17 points from Greg Monroe, beating the Magic (14-29) for the second time in the last six days.

J.J. Redick matched his career high with 31 points for the Magic, but he struggled with five turnovers.

The Magic missed a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds after Jameer Nelson missed a free throw with six seconds remaining. In a mad scramble for the missed shot, Glen Davis, Nikola Vucevic and Nelson missed tips at the basket.

Nelson and reserve guard E'Twaun Moore each had 18 points. But it was Knight who dominated the game down the stretch.

Knight gave the Pistons a 93-89 lead with his third 3-pointer. He tied the game at 98 with his fourth. And he gave the Pistons a 101-98 lead with his fifth 3-point shot.

Davis received a technical foul in the third period - his third consecutive game with a technical - and it sparked him after a poor first half. He had 10 points in the third, helping the Magic close the deficit to 78-77 going into the final quarter.

The Pistons led 54-44 at intermission, overcoming a great start from Redick, who hit all five of his 3-point shots in the first quarter. He hit his sixth 3-pointer just 13 seconds into the second quarter. Redick had 19 of the Magic's first 28 points and scored 21 points in the first half.

However, Redick got little help early in the game. The Magic led 32-29 early in the second quarter, but when Redick cooled, the Pistons made a 16-0 run.

Reserve Charlie Villanueva had nine points in the second quarter. Knight had 13 points in the first half.

The Magic were sloppy with the ball early, committing 11 turnovers before the break. Redick may have shot well, but he also had four turnovers in those first two periods.

NOTES: The Pistons keep talking about improvement from last season, but they went into Sunday night with the same record (16-27) as they had a year ago after 43 games. The Magic, conversely, have fallen dramatically from a year ago. They were 27-15 instead of the 14-28 record they took into Sunday night. ... Redick was taking some ribbing about spending an off-night at a Justin Bieber concert in Orlando Friday night. He explained it like a lot of married guys do. "A happy wife is a happy life," he said, explaining that it was his wife's idea that they go. ... The Magic not only are getting hammered by the good teams this season, but the bad teams keep beating them, too. They went into Sunday having lost nine consecutive games to teams with losing records. They also are 3-14 this season in games decided by six points or less. ... The Pistons keep banging the drum for rookie center Andre Drummond, who is averaging 7.5 points and 7.4 rebounds in 20.1 minutes. His rebound total comes out to 17.7 rebounds per 48 minutes, third most for an NBA rookie since 1985, trailing only Roy Tarpley (Dallas) and Charles Oakley (Chicago).
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