Magic avoid 4th quarter collapse, defeat Pistons with defense


Jacob Langston / Orlando Sentinel / MCT

Magic rookie Victor Oladipo drives to the basket during Sunday’s preseason game.

E’Twaun Moore scored 14 points of the bench, helping the Orlando Magic defeat the Detroit Pistons 87-86 in front of an announced attendance of 12,967 on Sunday, Oct. 20 at the Amway Center.

Victor Olapido added 8 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds of his own, while making his second career NBA preseason start.

The Magic trailed the Pistons early in the game, but Orlando used a 20-5 run during the final ten minutes of the second quarter to jump out to a 43-36 halftime lead.

“Our heads didn’t go down at all,” said Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn about the second quarter run. “There was a confidence that we were still in the game, and there was a lot of game to be played.

“I think we showed that by defensively getting into guys, creating turnovers and creating a pace that we wanted to play at.” added Vaughn.

Orlando forced 10 turnovers in the second quarter, while also outscoring Detroit 11-0 on fast break points during the first half. The Magic managed to only allow the Pistons to score 9 points in the second quarter and 18 in the third.

Maurice Harkless accounted for three steals during the Magic’s big second quarter, while Oladipo and Solomon Jones added two steals of their own in a third quarter which saw the Pistons commit another 9 turnovers.

“When we set the tone on defense, we can play out there and our teammates feed off our energy.” said Oladipo about his play alongside of Harkless. “We just have to keep it up.”

The Pistons rallied in the fourth quarter with Orlando playing a rotation of bench players and giving the starters a rest. Detroit outscored the Magic 32-15 in the final quarter but it wasn’t enough to overcome the 18-point deficit.

“I looked up at the score and we were up 20, then I looked up again and we were up 4.” said Magic big man Kyle O’Quin after the game.” The lead was the worst thing you can have. You’re mind just gets comfortable, it’s just natural.”

Greg Monroe lead all scorers with 19 points, while Andre Drummond lead all big men with 15 total rebounds.

Detroit finished the game with 25 turnovers, 9 of which came from rookie guard Peyton Siva.

“He (head coach Mo Cheeks) saw what we can do and that is what we are building on.” said Siva following the game. “Guys will get healthy, rotations will get better but right now we are just trying to push thorugh.”

The Magic outscored the Pistons 42-36 in the paint for the game despite being without starting center Nik Vucevic, who was a late scratch from the lineup on Sunday.

O’Quinn started in Vucevic’s place and finished the game with 12 points, 9 rebounds and 4 blocks.

With the win Orlando improves to 2-4 in the preseason, while also getting some looks at multiple roster invitees including rookie forward Romero Osby.

The Magic will now travel to San Antonio to take on the Spurs on Tuesday, Oct. 22 before returning home for their final preseason game against the New Orleans Pelicans.