Pistons drop third straight with big loss to Magic

Pistons drop third straight with big loss to Magic
Posted at 10:07 PM, Mar 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-24 22:07:15-04

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Elfrid Payton had 14 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in his fourth triple-double of the season, Terrence Ross scored 18 points and the Orlando Magic routed the slumping Detroit Pistons 115-87 on Friday night.

   It was another costly defeat for the Pistons, who entered the night just one game out of eighth place in the Eastern Conference and lost for the third straight time and the sixth in their last seven games.

   All five Magic starters were in double figures to back Payton's seventh career triple-double. Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon each scored 16 points and Evan Fournier had 15 in one of Orlando's most complete performances of the season.

   Ross, who played with four fouls much of the second half, was 5 for 6 from 3-point range in a game Orlando led by as many as 33 points in the second half.

   The Magic (27-46) seemed to play with more purpose and energy than the fading Pistons, who are dropped to 34-39. Detroit continued its trend of not playing much defense, and found very little offensive rhythm all night.

   The Magic shot 51.6 percent from the field and converted 12 of 26 from 3-point range, while the Pistons hit 35.4 percent from the field and made just two of 22 3-point attempts.

   Tobias Harris was the only Pistons starter to score in double figures with 11 points, while Jon Leuer and Reggie Jackson came off the bench to score 16 and 11 points, respectively.

   Taking advantage of their defense and Detroit's inability to make open shots, the Magic opened up a 57-39 lead going into halftime. Orlando hit eight of its nine final shots in the last 4:03 to turn a close game into an 18-point lead.

   The Magic shot 51 percent from the field for the half, while limiting the Pistons to just 30.8 shooting and 2-for-10 shooting from 3-point range.  Fournier, who did more penetrating than normal, led all scorers in the first half with 13 points and Vucevic added 12 points, six rebounds and four assists.


   Pistons: Ish Smith started ahead of Jackson at point guard for the second straight game. ... Marcus Morris was 1 for 7 from the field and had just four points in the first half. ...Detroit shot just 28.6 percent from the field in the first quarter.

   Magic: Jeff Green missed his second straight game due to back spasms. ... Ross picked up his third foul of the night with 2:21 remaining in the first half. ... Gordon averaged 13.5 points in the prior games with the Pistons this season. ...Orlando outscored the Pistons in the paint 32-22 during the first two quarters. ... When the Magic took a 90-60 lead on Mario Hezonja's two free throws with 1:46 left in the third quarter, they surpassed their biggest lead of an opponent this season, which was 29.


   Pistons: Detroit takes on the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Monday.

   Magic: Orlando hits the road to take on the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre on Monday.