Magic upset bid over DET falls short
The Magic were led by GHill with 22 pts (17 in the first half) on 10 of 12 FGs; JNelson 17 pts (all in the second half), 7 asts; KDooling off the bench with 17 pts; and DHoward 12 pts, 16 rebs, but just 6 of 16 FTs; TAriza added 9 pts, 5 rebs off the bench. DET was led by Billups with 28 pts on 10 of 13 FGs and 8 asts; Rip Hamilton 21 pts, 6 asts; Tayshaun Prince 17 pts; and Antonio McDyess off the bench with 14 pts.
DET (41 of 75, 54.7%) outscored the Magic (37 of 74, 50%) from the field 90-78. DET hit on 8 of 15 3 pt FGs, while the Magic were 4 of 7 from long range. ORL, even though they did not shoot well from the FT line (21 of 35), had the advantage over DET at the FT line (14 of 16). The Magic outrebounded DET 37-31. The Magic had a very good AST/TO ratio of 22/10, but DET's was even better at 31/11. The Magic bench outscored the DET bench 35-26.
With IND beating MIL, the Pacers now trail the Magic by just a game for the 8th seed. The Magic trail NJ by 1 1/2 games for the 7th seed, and WAS by 3 games. Magic get 2 days off, then play at PHI on SAT, which trails the Magic by 3 games. Just one more week left in the season.