AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (Ticker) --
The Detroit Pistons could
not stop Tracy McGrady
, but they had no problem shutting down
his Orlando Magic teammates.
NBA TV highlights from|
American Express Play of the Day: McGrady
scored 30 points and the Pistons overcame
another record-setting performance by McGrady to even their
Eastern Conference first-round series at one game apiece with an
McGrady, the NBA scoring champion, poured in a team
playoff-record 43 points to lead the Magic to a 99-94 victory in
Game One. He was even better in this one as he scored 46
points, making 16-of-26 shots from the field and 10-of-11 from
But McGrady received little help from his supporting cast, which
combined for just 31 points on 11-of-42 shooting.
"If I had one other guy going, I think it would've been a
different game," McGrady said. "Those guys did a great job of
not letting anybody else get off. Their defensive strategy was
to let T-Mac get his but shut everybody else down."
"Tracy was awesome. We obviously need to do a better job
getting more guys involved," Magic coach Doc Rivers added. "We
had 14, 15 opportunities where our other guys had to step up and
instead of taking shots, they put it back on the floor and went
Pistons forward Clifford Robinson
also spoke of containing
"He's a great player and you know he's going to get going at
some point during the game," said Robinson, who guarded McGrady
at times. "We did a really good job of taking the other guys
out. If we keep doing that, we'll be in good shape."
Hamilton led a balanced attack for the Pistons, who placed five
players in double figures. Detroit never trailed and led by as
many as 22 points in the first half, when they played like the
conference's top seed.
"Everybody helps everybody out and everybody knows their place,"
Hamilton said. "If we do the little things, we win basketball
games. In Game One, we didn't pressure the ball at the
beginning of the game and Orlando pressured us. Tonight, we
really wanted to get up in them and make them make decisions.
We did a great job of doing that."
, who was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year for
the second straight season before the game, led the Pistons with
Game Three is Friday in Orlando.
Playing with a sense of desperation, the Pistons came out with
some fire as Wallace started the contest with a thunderous dunk.
They closed the first quarter with a 21-6 run, capped by
Hamilton's jumper with two-tenths of a second remaining for a
"I just wanted to go out there with a lot of energy and make
things happen," Wallace said. "I thought I was going to lead by
example, but the guys already were ready. I actually had to
catch up to them. We just went out there and played hard."
Hamilton followed up a strong performance in Game One, when he
scored 28 points, by netting 13 in the opening quarter. He did
most of his scoring away from the basket.
The Pistons looked like they would turn the game into a rout,
taking their largest lead at 41-19 with 9:12 left in the first
half on Jon Barry
's 3-pointer. But the Pistons went cold from
the field, allowing the Magic to get back in it.
After using variety of defenders on McGrady in the opener, the
Pistons employed the same strategy in this one. McGrady scored
eight points in the first quarter and looked unstoppable in the
Following Barry's basket, McGrady scored six straight points in
a little over a minute and 14 in a 16-3 surge that pulled the
Magic within 43-35 with 4 1/2 minutes left in the half.
McGrady netted 24 points - eight more than his teammates - by
halftime, making 10-of-14 shots. His teammates were just
5-of-22 from the field over the same stretch.
Hamilton nearly kept pace as he scored 21 points on 8-of-10
shooting in the opening two quarters. He scored six points in
an 11-5 run to close the half, giving the Pistons a 54-40 lead
at the break.
In the second half, the Pistons switched up on McGrady with more
success, putting 6-9 rookie Tayshaun Prince
on him at times.
"I just tried to crowd him and follow him around the court,"
Prince said. "I just tried to be in his jersey and be wherever
he went. You have to throw different people at him. Michael
did a nice job of guarding him and then Corliss (Williamson
and Cliff had the opportunity. When you have a player like
McGrady, that's what you have to do. You have to bring
different and bring energy."
"Tayshaun made a huge difference for us in the second half,"
Pistons coach Rick Carlisle added. "His lenghth was a factor.
He will be a huge factor as we continue on through the series."
Unlike McGrady, Hamilton got some help from his teammates.
Backcourt mate Chauncey Billups
scored 15 points, Williamson had
13 and Wallace and Clifford Robinson
A jumper by McGrady early in the third quarter cut the Magic's
deficit under double digits. They closed to 65-57 with 3:10
left in third quarter on a three-point play by Andrew DeClercq
who had nine points - the next highest total behind McGrady.
made a basket 18 seconds into the fourth quarter,
pulling the Magic within 70-63. But Prince converted two foul
shots and Williamson scored the next four points, making it
76-63 with 8:48 to play.
The Pistons led by double digits the rest of the way as the
Magic were unable to rally. McGrady, who played 46 minutes,
seemed to tire down the stretch while his teammates continued to
"I put it on myself every time we lose," McGrady said. "Those
are my guys. I won that first game with those guys and it was
just two of us in double figures. Tonight was just me in double
figures. We definitely have to look over some film and see
what we can do to get other guys involved."
Orlando shot just 40 percent (27-of-68) and made 4-of-17
attempts from 3-point range. Detroit connected at 42.5 percent
(31-of-73) from the field and held a 47-30 rebounding advantage.