Denton: Magic vs. Pistons Analysis (1/28/14)


Afflalo, who hopes to hear his name called on Thursday as an All-Star pick for the first time in his career, scored 14 points on six of 12 shooting. Tobias Harris added 14 points, while Nelson had 11 points, three 3-pointers and seven assists. Rookie Victor Oladipo, who was moved back into a reserve role, got hot in the fourth quarter with four straight makes and finished with 19 points.

Orlando shot just 41.6 percent from the floor and never could get much rhythm going offensively. The Magic compounded their problems when they missed 10 free throws and remained below 50 percent from the stripe most of the night.

``The great thing about this game is you know what’s coming and how their team plays – whether we saw it on film or talked about it – and now we’ve just got to get in a position of stopping them,’’ Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said.

Detroit (18-27) entered Tuesday having lost four straight games and 11 of 14 games since Christmas. The Pistons’ freefall started in Orlando on Dec. 27 when the Magic whipped them 109-92 – a game that Smith and Monroe played poorly in. They played better on Tuesday, as Brandon Jennings (20 points and eight assists) despite a slow start that included 11 missed shots in his first 13 attempts.

The Magic’s three-game road trip comes to an end Wednesday night north of the border against the much-improved Toronto Raptors. Orlando is back at the Amway Center on Friday night to host the Milwaukee Bucks before going on another two-game road trip to Boston (Sunday) and Indiana (Monday).

``We just have to be ready to compete (on Wednesday) or else it’s another physical team in the Raptors who will present problems for us,’’ Vaughn said.


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