Buzzing on Yahoo Sports:

Pistons the picture of futility in 90-74 loss to Magic

The SportsXchange

ORLANDO - It's tough to imagine any NBA team being as bad as the hapless Detroit Pistons were in one 10-minute stretch Wednesday night.

The Pistons mixed in six turnovers with 15 consecutive missed shots to start the second half, leading to a nightmarish 90-74 loss to the Orlando Magic.

The Magic, who trailed by three at intermission, scored 21 consecutive points to start the third period, then coasted to their easiest victory of the season.

"It's tough to explain how something like that happens," said Pistons center Greg Monroe. "But we have lost our focus. When you're in the middle of that (run), it just seems like every shot we take is missing, and every shot they take is going in. And things just keep getting worse."

The Magic (4-7) used balanced scoring, great ball movement and a pesky defense to beat the Pistons (2-10) for the second time in five days. The Magic stunned the Pistons in Detroit on Friday when they erased a 13-point, second half deficit.

Rookie Andrew Nicholson led the Magic with 15 points. Arron Afflalo had 12 points and seven rebounds. Glen Davis had 11 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. J.J. Redick also scored 11 points.

Monroe led everyone with 19 points, although 13 of those came in the first half. Rodney Stuckey had 13 points.

Six different Magic players scored in that 21-0 rally before the Pistons finally stopped the carnage with a pair of free throws from Stuckey with 2:15 remaining. The Pistons finished the third period by hitting only two of 21 shots. The Magic took a 71-56 lead into the final period.

"It's good for a change to be on the right side of a run like that," said Davis. "It was a good day for us. It's something we can take and build on."

The Magic outscored the Pistons 26-8 in the third period. It was a stark turnaround from the first period when the Magic fell behind by as many as 10 points in yet another slow start for them. They have trailed by nine or more points in the first quarter of seven of their 11 games.

"We lost it, just lost it (in the third)," said Pistons coach Lawrence Frank. "Once they hit us, we lost our poise. The third quarter was deplorable."

The Magic outscored the Pistons 45-26 in the second half.

"I think it was just great concentration coming out of halftime," said Magic rookie coach Jacque Vaughn. "I wish I would have said something that was worth saying again, but it was just a few adjustments we made. The guys had a great concentration level."

The Pistons led 48-45 at intermission when they rode the fast start of Monroe, who had 11 points and six rebounds in the first quarter.

Vaughn didn't waste any time going deep into his bench during the Magic's slow start. Less than six minutes into the game, the Magic already had used 10 players.

Nicholson had a good start for the Magic with 10 points before intermission.

NOTES: Magic rookie forward Maurice Harkless made his first NBA start, allowing Afflalo to move back to his natural spot at shooting guard. Harkless, who is 19 years old, had seven points and four rebounds in 21 minutes. It was the seventh different starting lineup this season for the Magic. ... Center Greg Monroe, in his third NBA season, has been the bright spot in an otherwise rocky first month for the Pistons. He came into Wednesday's game as the leading scorer (16.8 ppg) and rebounder (9.8 rpg) for either team, clearly impressing Frank with his versatility. Monroe also is averaging 3.4 assists. "Greg has a point-center, point-forward mentality to his game," Frank said. "He's just a very skilled offensive player." ... It's not hard to tell what the Magic's biggest problem has been this season. They just can't score consistently. In their three previous victories, they averaged 109 points. In their seven losses, they have averaged 79.6 points. "I can't really put my finger on it," said point guard Jameer Nelson. "I just go out and try to play my game."
Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Football
View Comments (1)