Magic welcome Pistons to Orlando
(Sports Network) – A battle of division leaders takes place tonight as the
Orlando Magic host the Detroit Pistons at TD Waterhouse Centre.
Orlando leads the Southeast Division by 4 1/2 games over Atlanta and just went
4-2 on a six-game road trip out west. The Magic ended the swing by suffering a
94-80 loss Wednesday to the Indiana Pacers at Conseco Fieldhouse.
Dwight Howard had 20 points and eight rebounds for Orlando, which has dropped
two of three after a six-game winning streak. Grant Hill added 16 points for
the Magic, who will open a four-game homestand versus Detroit, Philadelphia,
Phoenix and Toronto.
The Magic have won six in a row as the host and are 7-1 at TD Waterhouse
Centre this season. Orlando has won 19 of its last 21 home games dating to
last season and play seven of the next eight at home.
Meanwhile, the Pistons lead the Central Division by just a half-game over
Cleveland and ended a two-game losing streak with Thursday’s 92-82 victory
over the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center.
Tayshaun Prince scored 20 points and Rasheed Wallace added 19 for the Pistons,
who are 1-0 on a four-game road trip to Dallas, Orlando, Indiana and New
Jersey. Detroit is also 6-4 away from the Motor City this season.
Richard Hamilton had 15 points and Chauncey Billups totaled 12 points, 11
assists and five steals for Detroit, which won for the ninth time in 11 games.
The Pistons went 2-1 against Orlando last season and have won seven of nine
and 10 of the last 13 meetings between the teams.
Detroit has also won five of its last seven trips to Orlando.