Thursday, July 18, 2024
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NBA Preview: Orlando Magic (26-23) at Detroit Pistons (6-42)

The Orlando Magic’s drive to end their three-season playoff drought gets a boost over the next four weeks. They get three matchups with the Pistons, including a visit to Detroit on Sunday afternoon.

Orlando has a 2-1 record during its current five-game road trip. After a two-point loss to Dallas, the Magic answered with a 10-point win over San Antonio and a 108-106 victory over Minnesota.

Orlando trailed by 17 in the first half against the Timberwolves and by eight points in the fourth quarter.

The Magic held the Timberwolves to 18 fourth-quarter points.

All-Star forward Paolo Banchero, who scored 23 points on Friday, has led the Magic in scoring the last seven games. In the first meeting with the Pistons this season, Banchero and Franz Wagner combined for 51 points in a 123-91 romp on Dec. 8.

Wagner contributed 19 points and five assists and Wendell Carter Jr. had 18 points and 12 rebounds against the Timberwolves.

Orlando will close out its road trip at Miami on Tuesday. It will return to Detroit on Feb. 24, then host the Pistons on March 3.

Detroit is already guaranteed of a losing season. The Pistons are 6-42 after falling to the Los Angeles Clippers, 136-125, on Friday night.

Detroit allowed the Clippers to shoot 59.6 percent from the field and 48.3 percent on 3-point attempts. Los Angeles also benefited from turnovers, turning 17 Pistons giveaways into 25 points.

In their previous game, a 128-121 loss to Cleveland, the Cavaliers scored 29 points off 19 Detroit turnovers.

Jaden Ivey led the team with 28 points but committed three turnovers, while Cade Cunningham and Bojan Bogdanovic had four apiece against the Clippers.

Following Sunday’s contest, Detroit heads out on a five-game West Coast trip prior to the All-Star break.

5-Hour Energy

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