Detroit Pistons Start Series Strong, Take Game One
The Detroit Pistons and The Orlando Magic faced off in Game One of the second round Saturday evening in Detroit. What did Detroit accomplish besides a convincing 91-72 win on their home court? They tamed the beast that is Dwight Howard. Howard, who was averaging 22 points and 18 boards in Orlando’s first round series with The Raptors, was corralled by the a number of Pistons bodies that they threw at him. Orlando’s Superman scored just 12 points with 8 boards, 3 blocked shots and quite a few goaltending calls.
The Pistons, up by just one at the half, handed the Magic the lead early in the third quarter for a very short time and then proceeded to go on a 19 -3 run in the third and then take off with a 17- 4 surge in the fourth quarter, to put the game out of reach for Orlando. Billups led the Pistons with 19 points and 7 assists without playing past the third quarter.
The game was chippy and got heated at times, Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis and Rasheed Wallace were each called for technical fouls during heated exchanges on the floor, though nothing but words came out of the tussles.
Tayshaun Prince put up 12 and Jason Maxiell, who was the X factor starting in place of Antonino McDyess, scored 10 of his 12 points in the fourth quarter while always keeping his much smaller body on Dwight Howard.
The Pistons will look to take this series 2-0 on Monday before going into Orlando. If they can shut down Superman and limit The Magic’s success from downtown like they did on Saturday night they should do just fine.
· Howard injured his left thumb trying to get a rebound in the third but continued playing.
· The Pistons have beaten Orlando eight straight times in the playoffs.
· Turkoglu and Lewis both scored 18 for the Magic.
· The Pistons held The Magic to just 16 points in the third quarter and 14 in the fourth.
· Five Pistons in double figures.
· The Pistons outrebounded The Magic 47-40.
· The Pistons took care of the basketball, they had just 6 turnovers on the night.
· The Palace Crowd seemed to rattle The Magic at the line, they shot just 50% from the stripe.
[top image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aho_1987/]