Saturday, July 4, 2015

Recap: Magic White 87, Pistons 76

Eight straight points early in the fourth quarter -- six of them coming on 3-pointers from Scottie Wilbekin and Taylor Braun -- broke open a close game and Orlando's White squad defeated the Detroit Pistons 87-76.
Orlando's White roster, a team filled with free agents and D-League hopefuls, played well in the second half and especially in the fourth quarter to rally for the win. The first 33 minutes of the game featured 14 lead changes and seven ties before Orlando (1-0) pulled away late in the game.
Orlando outscored Detroit 47-34 in the second half and it held a 23-15 edge in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
Keith Benson had 19 points for the Magic, while former Michigan State standout guard Keith Appling chipped in 17 points, four assists and four steals. Melvin Ejim added 11 points and seven rebounds.
Stanley Johnson, the No. 8 pick in last week's NBA Draft, had 13 points, four rebounds and three assists for the Pistons (0-1). Adonis Thomas, a 10-day signee for the Magic from two seasons ago, hit three 3-pointers and added 17 points for Detroit.
Wilbekin had seven points for the Magic, while Braun chipped in eight points. The two of them combined for three of Orlando's five 3-pointers.
The Magic's White roster, which is being coached by Magic D-League coach Bill Peterson, is compiled with free-agent players and ones who spent last season playing in the Developmental League -- some even with Orlando's affiliate in Erie, Pa. Keith Appling and Glen Rice Jr. were two of the more notable players in the starting lineup for Orlando on Saturday.
Orlando White has Sunday off and plays the Indiana Pacers on Monday at 1 p.m.
Orlando White trailed 42-40 at the half -- largely because of the play of Detroit's Johnson and Thomas. Detroit was a plus-17 in Johnson's nine minutes on the floor in the first half. He had six points and two assists -- both leading to 3-pointers in the early going. Thomas, who briefly played for the Magic in the 2013-14 season, had 10 points and two 3-pointers in the first half for the Pistons.
Benson got the Magic offense going early on by making five of his first eight shots for 11 points in the first half.
The Magic looked sharp and ran their offense well early on, leading much of the first quarter and holding a 19-17 edge after one period.

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