ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- The Orlando Magic could have used a few
All-Stars of their own Friday night. Instead, they were all playing
for the other team.
Chauncey Billups had 11 points and 14 assists, while Ben Wallace
contributed 10 rebounds for the Pistons. A night earlier, those
players made Detroit the first team with four All-Stars since the
Lakers in 1998.
Detroit pulled away with a 14-2 third-quarter run fueled by
several jumpers by Rasheed Wallace and some Orlando mistakes. After
turning the ball over seven times in the first half, the Magic gave
it away eight times in the third.
"When you're playing a good team like that, you've got to take
care of the basketball," Magic guard Keyon Dooling said.
Orlando didn't score for the first 5:14 of the fourth quarter,
when Dooling hit a 10-foot jumper. By then the Magic were down
72-56 and wouldn't recover -- though Steve Francis' layup with 1:04
remaining brought them within 10.
"We came out and moved the ball around, forced them to go to
their second and third option -- not allow them to walk down and
catch the ball where they want to catch it at," Ben Wallace said.
Rasheed Wallace went 3-of-6 from 3-point range in the final
period, the last one coming with 6 seconds remaining. He was
10-for-21 for the game, including 5-of-13 from behind the arc.
"He's one of those guys that when he starts feeling it and hits
a couple he can really make things happen," Pistons coach Flip
Saunders said. "Tonight was one of those games where everybody did
what they do. Chauncey distributed the ball, Rasheed hit 3s and
stretched the floor."
Detroit has lost only eight times this season, twice in the last
six days. The league-leading Pistons, off to the best start in
franchise history, head to Miami on Sunday for the second half of a
two-game Florida swing.
Orlando, still without forward Grant Hill and guard Jameer
Nelson, has lost seven of eight.
"They got a lot of weapons in the offense and they hit a lot of
shots -- tough shots in the second half," Howard said.
Howard had a double-double by halftime with 13 points and 12
rebounds, and looked impressive inside against Ben Wallace, but
couldn't match that intensity in the second half. He grabbed all 12
boards in the first quarter, setting a new club record. Shaquille
O'Neal had 11 rebounds in a quarter twice in 1993.
The Pistons took a 38-37 lead into halftime after Hamilton
nailed two 3-pointers in the second quarter's last 2 minutes. The
Magic led by as many as six after Detroit scoring droughts --
including a 4:33 span stretching from the first quarter into the
Each time the Pistons were able to respond, despite shooting
just 36 percent in the half to Orlando's 44 percent. However, the
Pistons did hit 5-of-10 from 3-point range, compared with 1-of-3
for the Magic.
Detroit registered 26 assists, compared with 10 for Orlando
... A sellout crowd of 17,283 attended the game, including former
Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda and Minnesota Vikings QB
Daunte Culpepper. Culpepper is from Ocala, Fla. -- about 80 miles
northwest of Orlando.