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>>caption: HOWARD DUNKED AGAIN
AND AGAIN AND AGAIN<<
@ ORLANDO, FL:
Orlando's lone All-Star at Sunday's
NBA All-Star Game displayed All-Star
form Wednesday night when the Magic
defeated the Pistons 116-91.
"Superman" Dwight Howard scored a
season-high 33-P, grabbed 17-RB and
swatted seven blocked shots, the last two
stats being game-highs. Generally a poor
free throw shooter, Howard went
11-of-13 at the line on this night.
A series of Howard dunks helped the
Magic build a 48-36/2nd-Qtr lead. Detroit
battled back with Richard Hamilton
hitting a pair of 3-pointers during a 16-3 run and Rip's four consecutive made free
throws briefly put the Pistons ahead twice at 52-51 and 54-53 just before halftime.
Howard's foul shot gave Orlando a 56-55 intermission advantage.
After the break Orlando built its lead back up to a dozen points again. Detroit
drew within 4-P at 83-79 when Ben Gordon opened the 4th-Qtr by hitting a jumper.
However, any chance of a Piston comeback crashed midway through that 4th-Qtr
when Gordon got ejected on a double technical for clotheslining Orlando's J.J. Redick
and then arguing with the official who made the foul call. Reddick made the free throw
to put the Magic ahead 96-83 with 6:33 to play and the bulge quickly grew to 25-P.
Curiously, it was Gordon (who did not speak with reporters after the game) who
sported a post-game bandage around his left eye covering three stitches.
Vince Carter added 20-P and Jameer Nelson 14-P with a game-high 9-A for
Orlando. Rashard Lewis scored 13-P and reserve Ryan Anderson 11-P.
Hamilton had a game-high 36-P for Detroit. Both Tayshaun Prince and Jonas
Jarebko added 13-P and Rodney Stuckey had 11-P.
The loss was Detroit's second in the last three games and gave the Pistons a
6-19 road record.
Orlando won for the 11th time in their last 14 games and went to 21-5 at home.
PISTONS GD RICHARD HAMILTON: "I thought we allowed the refs to get to us
on a couple of calls in the fourth quarter. We had our chances, but they played well."
PISTONS CEN BEN WALLACE: "Dwight did his thing. We just couldn't stop him."
MAGIC CEN DWIGHT HOWARD: "When there's times on the court when you got
to be physical like that, guys don't back down on any challenge. That's what we
have to do. We can't back down from anybody."
MAGIC H-COACH STAN VAN GUNDY: "You can't play a much better basketball
game than [Howard] did tonight."
Earlier Wednesday Tom Wilson announced his resignation as CEO of the Pistons
and Palace Sports and Entertainment. Wilson, who worked closely with the late
Bill Davidson, departs less than a year after the longtime owner's death and after
Wilson's 32 years with the team. Wilson was replaced by team COO Alan Ostfield,
who joined the Pistons in January, 2000.
Detroit reserve guard Chucky Atkins was inactive with a sternum injury and is
listed as day-to-day.
The Pistons open a two game homestand by hosting Milwaukee Friday night.
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