ORLANDO – The Orlando Magic (15-7) faced off against the Detroit Pistons (2-19) on Friday night at the Amway Center. It was the Pistons’ 19th straight loss and their biggest loss of the season.
The Magic came into the game following a two-game losing streak on the road, falling to Brooklyn 129-101 and then suffering a 121-111 loss in Cleveland. Despite Paulo Banchero’s career-high 42 points in the latter game, insufficient scoring across the roster led to the defeats.
This game served as a fill-in for both teams after they failed to advance in the NBA In-Season Tournament.
Orlando sought to regain momentum after matching a franchise record with nine consecutive wins.
Early in the game, the Magic seemed to struggle, with the Pistons hitting an impressive 67% of their shots in the first quarter while Orlando didn’t attempt a three-point shot until later.
The turning point arrived when Orlando’s head coach called a timeout with 2:06 left in the second quarter. Post-timeout, the Magic appeared reinvigorated, reminiscent of their earlier form.
When questioned about the timeout’s impact, Coach Mosley revealed that the players regrouped, reaffirming their identity and acknowledging their subpar performance up to that point.
Following the timeout, the Magic’s intensity surged. They began securing defensive stops, which translated into offensive opportunities. Detroit started committing turnovers, altering the course of the game entirely.
Franz Wagner surged from scoring zero points to a team-high 27, elevating Orlando’s shooting percentage from a mere 33% to over 55% for the game.
Orlando even built a commanding 34-point lead late in the game.
Paolo Banchero contributed 24 points, maintaining consistent performance throughout.
Anthony Black showcased defensive prowess, embodying the “Next man up” mentality, compensating for Suggs’ absence.
Goga Bitazde excelled inside, scoring 13 points, grabbing 8 rebounds, and blocking four shots.
Cade Cunningham led Detroit with 21 points, supported by Killian Hayes with 16 and Alec Burks with 14.
The intensified play also reflected in Orlando’s dominance in points in the paint, initially even at 10 per team but ultimately favoring Orlando 74-44.
Cole Anthony spearheaded the second unit, featuring Joe Ingles, Caleb Houston, and Moritz Wagner.
Orlando enjoys the weekend off before confronting the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night, seeking redemption after last week’s defeat.