Friday, October 28, 2016

Pistons roll in home opener, 108-82 over Magic

 If this was the final home opener for the Detroit Pistons at The Palace, they certainly produced a performance worthy of the occasion.
Andre Drummond had 12 points and 20 rebounds, and the Pistons routed the Orlando Magic 108-82 on Friday night in their most lopsided victory in a home opener. Tobias Harrisscored 18 points for the Pistons, and Marcus Morris added 17.
"It was a good team effort tonight," coach Stan Van Gundy said. "I thought everybody was involved and played well."
Pistons owner Tom Gores confirmed before the game the team is close on a deal to move downtown next season, so a run in Auburn Hills that's included three championships may be nearing an end. There will be time later to celebrate the history of The Palace if the move does become official, but Friday's win was a nice moment already. Detroit's 26-point victory broke a franchise record that was last matched in 1967, when the team played at Cobo Arena and the Pistons won their home opener by 23.
Ish Smith had 16 points and eight assists for Detroit on Friday. Aaron Gordon led the Magic with 17 points.
Detroit went on a 16-0 run in the second quarter to take a 44-24 lead, and the Pistons ended up outscoring Orlando 30-9 in the period. The Magic trailed 54-31 at halftime after shooting just 27 percent from the field.
There were so many missed shots by Orlando that Drummond had 16 rebounds in the first half alone.
"I thought that early on, too many guys were trying to get us into the game by themselves instead of trusting their teammates," Orlando coach Frank Vogel said. "Once it got out of hand, I think our shoulders slumped, but that's going to happen to any team that gets outplayed that badly."
Drummond reached 20 rebounds for the 28th time in his career. His rebounding has never been in question, but the big issue is whether he can finally improve his abysmal foul shooting.
He made his only two free throws Friday, drawing a big cheer from the crowd in the third quarter.
Orlando never made a game of it after its awful second quarter. The Pistons were up 86-51 after three, and even 7-foot-3 backup Boban Marjanovic got into the game at the end, much to the delight of the home fans.
TIP-INS
Magic: Orlando finished the game at 35 percent from the field. ... The Magic were outscored 60-36 in the paint.
Pistons: Detroit is without PG Reggie Jackson, who is still recovering from a left knee problem. ... BackupsAron Baynes and Beno Udrih scored 13 points apiece. ... The Pistons have won seven in a row against Orlando. ... Drummond had 11 rebounds in the second quarter.
BOUNCEBACK
Detroit made the playoffs last season for the first time since 2009, so it was a bit of a downer when the Pistons lost their opener 109-91 to Toronto. Detroit evened its record out with an emphatic victory against the Magic.
"We know what it takes to win," Drummond said. "We had that taste of success last year and we know how hard we need to play in order to be a great team. That wasn't the team that we showed against Toronto."
RETURN
Orlando had C Bismack Biyombo available after he was suspended for the opener for exceeding the flagrant foul limit in last season's playoffs. He scored two points in 22:51.
"We have to start playing as a team," Biyombo said. "We're out there playing one on one all over the court, and that's not how you win games in this league."
UP NEXT
Magic: Visit Cleveland on Saturday night. Orlando's first three games this season are against playoff teams from 2015-16. The Magic lost their opener to Miami.
Pistons: Host Milwaukee on Sunday night. Former Detroit big man Greg Monroe is in his second season with the Bucks.

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