"I know I can take it to the hole. I knew in my mind it was
good," Nelson said.
Trailing by two with 3 seconds remaining, Detroit's Tony Delk
missed two free throws. Antonio McDyess corralled the rebound and
put up a 12-foot airball, which Dwight Howard grabbed as time
Billups led Detroit with 25 points and eight assists, while Delk
scored 18 and Tayshaun Prince chipped in 15. The win was the Magic's ninth straight at home and snapped the
Pistons' six-game winning streak. It was also Orlando's second
victory in three games against one of the NBA's marquee teams after
beating Dallas at home a week ago. Detroit was playing back-to-back
games after beating Miami 95-82 on Thursday night.
"It's what we needed," Turkoglu said. "Winning this kind of
big game, building our confidence. Building a team for next year is
going to be really huge. If you look at it, we beat Dallas and now
Turkoglu was hurt on the last play after having his legs cut out
from under him, but X-rays came back negative. The Magic said he
has a bone bruise and will undergo an MRI Saturday.
Howard had 12 points and 10 rebounds and Tony Battie had 11
points for Orlando.
Nelson hit a 20-footer to tie the game at 87 with 42 seconds
left, and Billups missed a 3-point attempt the next trip down.
Orlando called timeout with 17.3 seconds left, setting up Nelson
to drive left of the lane for the game-winning shot.
Detroit didn't score a field goal for the first 6:28 of the
fourth quarter until Prince hit a 3-pointer from the wing with 5:32
left, but crept out of a five-point deficit with eight straight
free throws from Billups on four straight trips. The All-Star and
MVP candidate finished 12-of-12 from the line.
"Every time we fought back they hit big shots. We have to give
them credit," Billups said.
Prince's basket also gave Detroit its first lead of the game,
which was quickly extended by another Billups 3-pointer after
another Magic turnover.
The Pistons were without leading scorer Richard Hamilton, who
flew to Tulsa, Okla., because of a death in the family.
After 73 straight starts this season with the same starting
lineup -- 98 straight counting the playoffs last year -- the Pistons
have played two of their last three games with just four of their
usual starting five. Rasheed Wallace was out Tuesday serving a
suspension in a 101-93 win over New Orleans.
Orlando used an 18-6 run midway through the second quarter to
build a 54-39 halftime lead, but watched nervously in the second
half as Detroit chipped away. The Pistons overcame a 12-point
fourth quarter deficit the night before to handily beat Miami, but
couldn't find a way to score off the line late against Orlando.
"We wasted the first half. We came out in the second half and
tried to fight and claw to get back into the game. Once we got back
into the game, they made big plays," Ben Wallace said. "When you
play like that sometimes it gets you in the end. This was one of
The Magic outscored Detroit in the paint 34-26. ... Orlando
shot 53 percent from the field, compared with 45 percent for
Detroit. ... Darko Milicic had eight points and four rebounds and
Carlos Arroyo scored 10 in their first game against Detroit since
being dealt to Orlando in February.