Denton: Magic vs. Pistons Analysis (2/5/14)

   

By John Denton
Feb. 5, 2014

ORLANDO – The Orlando Magic’s 20-point lead had been cut in half and head coach Jacque Vaughn was thisclose to benching the unit on the floor when Kyle O’Quinn came to the rescue with the kind of jaw-dropping sequence that defined the best defensive performance of his young NBA career.

Just seconds after Detroit had pulled to within 10 points of the Magic in Wednesday’s fourth quarter, O’Quinn rose up and angrily swatted a high-arching floater by Pistons’ guard Brandon Jennings. After Jennings stole the outlet pass, he had the audacity to try O’Quinn again and the Orlando reserve center repeated the feat with another stellar block.

But O’Quinn didn’t stop there by sprinting the length of the floor and outrunning Detroit big men Andre Drummond and Josh Smith. Orlando guard Victor Oladipo rewarded his big man with the ball, and O’Quinn wisely pump-faked Drummond into the air before finishing a difficult layup in traffic.

The sequence sent Detroit into a timeout and propelled the Magic to one of their most solid and impressive performances. When the Magic got huge lifts off the bench from Maurice Harkless, O’Quinn and Oladipo, they were able to throttle the Pistons 112-98 and get revenge for an ugly loss just a week earlier in suburban Detroit.

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