Pistons use strong second half to get past Magic 108-104

- Reggie Jackson scored 24 points and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 18 to help lead the Detroit Pistons to a 108-104 win over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night.

The win kept the Pistons (42-37) in contention in the Eastern Conference playoff race. They remained a half-game behind Indianapolis, which beat Cleveland, for the No. 7 spot.

The Magic's three-game home winning streak ended. They held a 96-92 lead late in the fourth quarter, but then saw it slip away.

After going back and forth for much of the first three quarters, the Pistons took control late in the fourth quarter. Tobias Harris, Caldwell-Pope and Jackson all hit big shots in the final five minutes to rally the Pistons. Caldwell-Pope gave the Pistons 97-96 lead late in the fourth quarter on a 3-pointer following a turnover by Orlando's Victor Oladipo.

Evan Fournier led five Orlando players in double figures with 19 points.

The Magic made it interesting down the stretch, but the Pistons converted seven of eight free-throw attempts in the final 24.6 seconds to stay out front. Jackson sank four free throws during that stretch and Marcus Morris hit his final two free throws to put the game away.

The Pistons shot 45 percent from the field and 41 percent from 3-point range for the game, while the Magic converted 48 percent from the floor but were just 4 of 15 from 3-point range. Orlando also committed 14 turnovers.

Detroit opened the second half much more aggressively, outscoring Orlando 16-6 in the first 5 ½ minutes to claim a 60-57 advantage. Harris scored five points and Caldwell-Pope also had seven points during the run to begin the second half. But the Magic did manage to recover late in the third as Fournier broke from his early slump to add 12 points in the third to help Orlando reclaim the lead and take a 77-73 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Magic's offense wasn't nearly as fluid as it had been in the previous five games but it was good enough to claim a 51-44 lead going into halftime. Orlando claimed its largest lead with a strong finish in the final five minutes to erase a 41-35 deficit. Orlando outscored the Pistons 16-3 down the stretch in the second quarter to claim a seven-point advantage halftime -- its largest lead of the half.


Detroit: SF Tobias Harris returned to Orlando on Wednesday night for the first time since being traded in February. The Magic sent Harris to Detroit in exchange for F Ersan Illyasova and PG Brandon Jennings. ... The Pistons had 13 fast-break points, compared to 11 by the Magic.

Orlando: The Magic entered Wednesday night's game averaging 119.2 points per outing in their last five games. They had also won four of their last five game and three straight at home. ... C Nikola Vucevic continues to come off the bench since returning to the floor last week after a groin injury kept him out for an extended time. Coach Scott Skiles says Vucevic is still a starter, but right now both he and the team are playing well with him coming off the bench.

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