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>>caption: NELSON (L) FOULS
@ PALACE OF AUBURN HILLS:
The Pistons earned their first
home win of the new season and
evened their record at 2-2 with
Tuesday night's 85-80 victory vs
The speedy Detroit backcourt
trio of Ben Gordon, Rodney Stuckey
and Will Bynum combined for 63 of
the team's 85-P.
Good team defense down the
stretch helped Detroit hold off the
Magic, whose "Superman" Dwight
Howard fouled out at crunch time after being limited by fouls and a sore shoulder
to just 17-mins of PT. Also ailing for Orlando was Vince Carter, who struggled on
a bad ankle.
The Pistons continued to be minus GD Richard Hamilton, who missed a third
consecutive game with an ankle sprian suffered in the season opener. Also out
of action Tuesday was FWD Tayshaun Prince with a sore lower back. Prince hadn't
missed a Detroit regular season game in over six years (April, 2003). His string
of 496 consecutive games played was the second longest active streak in the NBA.
The Pistons beat the Magic for a fourth straight time and for the 17th time in
their last 21 meetings.
The close contest was tied at 60 entering the 4th-Qtr and at 77 when Howard
fouled-out with 3:45 remaining. Detroit then went on an 8-0 run until Orlando's
J.J. Redick hit a meaningless triple at the final buzzer.
Gordon had a game-high 23-P while Stuckey and Bynum both added 20-P. Stuckey
grabbed a career-high 9-RB. Bynum returned to the floor for the critical final moments
after having to be helped to the locker room earlier in the 4th-Qtr when he was poked
in the left eye.
Charlie Villanueva also reached double figures for Detroit with 12-P. Ben Wallace
(2-P) had a game-high 10-RB.
Although he was only 6-of-16 shooting, Carter gimped his way to lead Orlando in
scoring with 15-P. Redick added 14-P and reserve Matt Barnes 11-P. Howard was
limited to 8-P (half of them on free throws) and 5-RB (his lowest total on the boards
PISTONS H-COACH JOHN KUESTER: "A victory like this is sweet -- there's no question
about it. Our guys did a great job of controlling the pace, getting the ball from one side
of the court to the other and coming up with big plays. You always miss guys who play
such an intricate part of what you do, but it is great to see other guys step up."
PISTONS GD WILL BYNUM: "We knew if we could get Dwight into foul trouble,
they'd be in trouble, because we'd have an open path to the basket. So we just
tried to keep attacking...Now we know if we execute and push the tempo, we can
beat anybody. That’s great for our confidence."
PISTONS FWD CHARLIE VILLANUEVA: "We tried to be physical and play Detroit
basketball, and it worked for us. We played great. Defense is what won us this
game...As soon as the ball went up, the effort was there. Guys were determined
and concentrating on defense."
MAGIC CEN DWIGHT HOWARD: "[His injured shoulder is] just very, very sore, but
it is hard when you get hit so hard every night. I'm a big guy, but it still hurts when
I'm getting hit this much. It's getting worse, but I have to keep my composure and
try not to complain."
MAGIC GD JAMEER NELSON: "We tried to force things offensively, and we didn’t
play our game as a team. We tried to hit a home run. We tried to do things individually.
We definitely missed Dwight [Howard], but we still had the opportunity, and we still had
MAGIC H-COACH STAN VAN GUNDY: "We just couldn't stop their three guards. We
knew that's where all of their offense was going to come from, and we couldn't even
contain them...I thanked Vince [Carter] for going out there, but he couldn't attack
the basket and he couldn't keep up with Bynum. Jameer [Nelson] had a nightmare.
He couldn't dribble the ball two feet without losing it tonight. It was just a terrible
night for everyone, including me."
Orlando's loss was its first in the team's four games this season.
Playing in place of Prince, rookie Jonas Jarebko became the first Swedish-born
player to ever start an NBA game. Jarebko didn't score, but pulled down 5-RB in his
Hamilton will miss a fourth straight game when the Pistons visit Toronto Wednesday
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