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Pistons hitting on all cylinders; run over Magic

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No sugar coating will make the Orlando Magic’s defeat at the hands of the Detroit Pistons taste any better. Detroit humiliated the Magic 108-82 at the Palace of Auburn Hills on Friday night.

It was only 24-22 at the end of the first quarter, but the Pistons outscored the Magic 62-31 in the second and third periods to put Orlando in a hole from which they would not come close to recovering. If there is any good news it comes from the fact that this counts as only one loss though it seemed much more.

When your two highest profile players, Nikola Vucevic and Serge Ibaka, combine to score only 11 points, the outcome is not hard to guess. Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton scored 17 and 15 points, respectively, but there was not much else coming from the starters.

The Pistons were led by former Magic player Tobias Harris, who scored 18 points. Andre Drummond, one of the NBA’s top rebounders, pulled down 20 boards, while adding 12 points.

Friday saw the debut of free agent signee Bismack Biyombo, but the Magic and their fans are waiting for the real Biyombo to emerge. He scored only two points with three rebounds in 23 minutes of play.

The Magic shot only 35% from the field while Detroit made 51%. Among the more interesting statistics came from the free throw line. The teams combined to take only 18 free throws, six by the Pistons.

“We weren’t nearly good enough on either side of the ball,” said Magic Coach Frank Vogel. “We played poorly and didn’t respond.”

With the loss, the Magic dropped to 0-2 on the season. Things do not get any easier as they will be in Cleveland on Saturday to take on the defending NBA Champion Cavaliers in Quicken Loans Arena.


Bob Sparks is President of Ramos and Sparks Group, a Tallahassee-based business and political consulting firm. During his career, he has directed media relations and managed events for professional baseball, served as chief spokesperson for the Republican Party of Florida as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Attorney General of Florida. After serving as Executive Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Charlie Crist, he returned to the private sector working with clients including the Republican National Committee and political candidates in Japan. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife, Sue and can be reached at

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