NBA Game Summary - Detroit at Orlando
(Friday, February 27th)
Final Score: Detroit 93, Orlando 85
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Richard Hamilton scored 19 of his 31 points in the second half, including nine in a pivotal third quarter, and the Detroit Pistons snapped a season-high eight-game skid with a 93-85 triumph over the Orlando Magic.
Hamilton, who was 11-of-18 from the floor with six assists and three steals, appeared in the starting lineup for the first time in 16 games and was coming off a 24-point effort in Wednesday's loss to New Orleans.
"It was big. We wanted to get a win and I thought guys did a great job digging down on both ends of the floor. We played together," Hamilton said of the win. "We wanted to get back into being aggressive, getting into the passing lanes, and pressuring the ball."
Rodney Stuckey contributed 22 points and Tayshaun Prince 17 for Detroit, which was without guard Allen Iverson.
Iverson left Wednesday's game after playing only 8:16 due to back stiffness and returned to Detroit Friday for an MRI exam that came back negative. But the bigger news was head coach Michael Curry's decision to replace Iverson with Hamilton in the starting lineup and that the move had been decided prior to his leaving the team to get the back looked at.
The move paid off, at least for now, as the Pistons also snapped a four-game slide on the road and were just 4-12 following Curry's decision to have Hamilton come off the bench. Detroit reached the win column for the first time since a 126-121 overtime victory at Milwaukee on February 7.
"This is what I do. There is no added pressure. This is my comfort zone," said Hamilton of switching back into the starting lineup. "Coming off the bench is not my comfort zone. It is what it is and we got a win and that is a great thing."
Antonio McDyess grabbed 13 rebounds and scored eight, while flamboyant center Rasheed Wallace added 10 and six, respectively, after it was originally thought he would be serving a one-game suspension.
He was ejected from Wednesday's loss for throwing a towel into the stands and another one onto the court. Wallace, though, had two technical fouls from earlier in the season taken away by the league on Thursday and avoided missing time. He did, however, garner a $25,000 fine by the league on Friday for his latest antics.
Detroit will finish off its 1-3 five-game road trip Sunday in Boston.
Dwight Howard recorded his 47th double-double of the season with 21 points and 13 rebounds while Rafer Alston chipped in 14 points with six assists and three steals for the Magic, who had won three of their last four coming in.
"It hurts me every time we lose. I don't know what it is but we've got to get over that hump. It's more mental than anything," Howard said, speaking of Orlando losing eight of the last 10 to Detroit. "I'm not worried about it. I think we want to be playing our best basketball come playoff time. We know what it takes to beat this team, we've just got to do it."
Orlando held a 24-20 edge after 12 minutes and a Howard slam just before the half gave the hosts a 51-43 advantage.
Hamilton sparked a 22-6 run that gave the visitors control with a jumper to open the third quarter, and scored five on the surge while Stuckey led the charge with seven points.
A pair of Hamilton free throws just inside the final minute were good for a 71-62 lead, before the Magic cut the margin to six heading to the fourth.
A Mickael Pietrus triple early in the fourth had the hosts back within one at 75-74, but back-to-back buckets by Hamilton and McDyess stretched the lead back to seven moments later.
A pair of jumpers from the same duo with just under three minutes left put the Pistons up 91-83 and Orlando managed only a Hedo Turkoglu jump shot the rest of the way, while Hamilton fittingly sealed the game with two at the line with 16 second left.
Turkoglu finished with 13 points and Rashard Lewis 10 with seven boards for the Magic...Pietrus returned from a sprained right wrist after missing three games and scored six points in 30-plus minutes...Howard recorded his 30th 20-point, 10-rebound game this season...The Pistons connected on 48.1 percent of their shots while the Magic stroked 46 percent from the floor.
02/27 23:19:57 ET