Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 3)

Series starts 1/3

Game 1: Tuesday, January 3rd
Game 2: Friday, February 10th
Game 3: Friday, April 7th

Pistons 87

(61-15, 27-12 away)

Magic 89

(31-44, 23-14 home)

Coverage: WDWB

7:00 PM ET, April 7, 2006

Amway Arena, Orlando, FL

1 2 3 4 T
DET 23 16 27 2187
ORL 27 27 13 2289

Top Performers

Detroit: C. Billups 25 Pts, 2 Reb, 8 Ast, 2 Stl

Orlando: H. Turkoglu 26 Pts, 7 Reb, 5 Ast

Turkoglu, Nelson lead Magic past Pistons

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Chauncey Billups outplayed Orlando's backcourt for almost all of the fourth quarter -- until the very end.

Jameer Nelson hit two last-minute shots, the second a fadeaway jumper with 6.5 seconds left, and Hedo Turkoglu had 26 points and seven rebounds to help the Orlando Magic beat the Detroit Pistons 89-87 Friday night.

"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 expired.

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 Detroit."

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 those nights."

Game notes

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.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 87 89
FGM-FGA 31-68 (.456) 36-68 (.529)
3PM-3PA 4-12 (.333) 1-5 (.200)
FTM-FTA 21-31 (.677) 16-21 (.762)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 6-30 7-39
Assists 14 15
Turnovers 10 16
Steals 12 7
Blocks 5 3
Fast Break Points 14 19
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 15 (0/0) 22 (0/0)
Largest Lead 4 16

Top Performers

Chauncey Billups Billups
Points: 25
Reb: 2
Ast: 8
Stl: 2
Blk: 0
Hedo Turkoglu Turkoglu
Points: 26
Reb: 7
Ast: 5
Stl: 0
Blk: 0