AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Feb. 13 (Ticker) -- Tracy McGrady
again was spectacular for the Orlando Magic. Unfortunately, they could not stop Richard Hamilton
, Clifford Robinson
and the Detroit Pistons.
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Hamilton scored 29 points and Robinson added 18, including two big three-pointers, as the Pistons defeated the Magic, 98-88, for their season high-tying sixth straight victory.
McGrady, the NBA's leading scorer, contributed 35 points, 11 rebounds and six assists for the Magic, who suffered their sixth
loss in eight contests.
The Pistons held a three-point lead before embarking on a 12-0 run that was capped by a three-pointer from Chauncey Billups midway through the third quarter.
Orlando drew within 68-62 on a layup by Darrell Armstrong with two seconds left in the period before Robinson nailed a shot from just beyond midcourt at the buzzer, giving the Pistons a nine-point advantage heading into the final 12 minutes.
"As soon as I noticed there was no one around me, I looked at the clock tried to get as close as I could and just launch it,"
Robinson said. "They made a big run (before that) and that gave us a little bit more momentum."
"It was just a matter of catching the ball in rhythm," said Ben Wallace, who grabbed 18 rebounds. "Cliff stepped into his shot, caught it in rhythm and he will knock that shot down time and time again."
But Orlando continued to pressure Detroit, pulling within 84-81 on a layup by McGrady with 4:22 to play. But Robinson countered with a three-pointer from the top of the key as the shot clock expired with 3:54 left, and the Magic got no closer than five points thereafter.
"They kept coming out and executing and playing good defense," McGrady said. "We were trying to do the same, we just ran out
of gas. They did a lot of scrambling and kept finding wide open guys."
Detroit, which improved to 19-8 at home against Orlando, matched its season-best winning streak, set from Dec. 11-20.
"We are getting wins but some of these wins we do not feel like we are playing our best ball," said Billups, who scored 12
points. "That definitely builds confidence when you're not playing your best ball and you are still winning games."
"It was a great win for us," Pistons coach Rick Carlisle said. "Orlando is one of the toughest teams to play because of their
shooting and because of McGrady. He is just a phenomenal player."
Earlier in the day, McGrady was named to Team USA along with San Antonio's Tim Duncan, New Jersey's Jason Kidd and
Milwaukee's Ray Allen.
Jacque Vaughn added 15 points and Pat Garrity 14 for Orlando, which was playing its second game since learning center Shawn Kemp was suspended indefinitely by the NBA for violating its anti-drug policy.
"It was a great effort from our guys," Magic coach Doc Rivers said. "I thought they really fought hard."
Mike Miller, who was in constant foul trouble, was limited to four points in 26 minutes.
"It hurts a lot (having Miller in foul trouble)," McGrady said. "For me it takes a guy away from our offense that I usually find and that usually bails me out at times. Not having him on the court was really tough."
"We gambled by keeping Mike Miller on the floor, and I thought that is what really hurt us tonight," Rivers said. "We didn't
have another offensive guy and we are asking too much from Tracy McGrady every night."