Wednesday , Feb , 21 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Magic, Pistons play front end of home-and-home set

(Sports Network) – The Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic open a home-and-
home set tonight when the two teams square off at The Palace of Auburn
Hills.

Detroit comes into the game on a winning note after holding on for an 84-83
win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday. Chauncey Billups scored 19 points in
the win. Milwaukee’s Mo Williams missed a driving layup in the final seconds
of regulation, and the Pistons slapped away the rebound to preserve the win.

Rasheed Wallace scored 16 points and pulled down 11 boards for the Pistons,
who have won eight of nine. Antonio McDyess added 15 points and seven boards
off the bench, and Richard Hamilton finished with 12 points and seven boards
for Detroit.

The Pistons are 17-10 as the host this year and lead the Central Division by 2
1/2 games over Cleveland.

Orlando was also in action on Tuesday, but fell to the New York Knicks,
100-94, at Madison Square Garden.

Dwight Howard was a force, recording 27 points and 14 boards, for the Magic,
who made it interesting in the final minutes only to lose for the 13th time in
18 outings.

Orlando drew within 94-91 after Jameer Nelson hit a three-pointer with under 1
1/2 minutes to play, but New York held off the Magic by scoring six of the
final nine points of the contest.

Nelson ended with 16 points as Orlando lost for the fifth straight time on the
road. The club’s last win away from Amway Arena was on January 22 against
Cleveland.

The setback dropped the Magic back to .500 at 27-27. The club is tied with the
Miami Heat for second in the Southeast Division and seventh overall in the
East, and is 4 1/2 games back of Washington for the top spot in the standings.

The Magic and Pistons will conclude the home-and-home set on Friday at TD
Waterhouse Centre. Detroit has won five of the last six and eight of the last
10 in the series overall, and four in a row against the Magic at home.

DET ORL