Pistons, Magic resume playoff series in Orlando
(Sports Network) – The top-seeded Detroit Pistons try to take a commanding
3-0 lead over the No. 8 Orlando Magic in their first-round playoff matchup, as
the teams battle tonight at Amway Arena.
Detroit took care of business in Games 1 and 2 at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
Chauncey Billups poured in 22 points and dished out 11 assists to lead the
Pistons to a 100-92 victory in the opener, while Richard Hamilton scored 16 of
his 22 points in the second half to lift Detroit to a 98-90 win in the
second game of the series.
Dwight Howard is averaging 10.5 points and 15.0 rebounds in his first two
playoff games for Orlando, while Hedo Turkoglu has posted 19.5 points per game
This is a best-of-seven series. Game 4 is scheduled for Saturday at Amway
The Pistons have lost three straight Game 3s in the postseason, while
Orlando has won two of its last three Game 3s.
Orlando’s last home victory in the postseason was on April 27, 2003 against
The Pistons are the top seed in the Eastern Conference for a second straight
year. They won their fifth Central Division title in the past six campaigns
during the regular season.
Detroit, which has reached the postseason for a sixth straight year, bowed out
in six games against the eventual NBA champion Miami Heat in last year’s
Eastern Conference Finals. The Pistons are the No. 1 seed for the third time
in four years and own home-court advantage throughout the East playoffs.
The Pistons have not lost in the opening round of the postseason since 2000,
when they were swept by Miami, 3-0.
The Magic are in the playoffs for the first time since the 2002-03 season.
Head coach Brian Hill has Orlando back in the playoffs where it was
eliminated in seven games by the Pistons in 2003. Hill already took this
franchise to the NBA Finals once (1995).
The last time the Magic won a playoff series was in 1996, when they defeated
the Atlanta Hawks in the conference semifinals in five games.