Pistons beat Magic 105-93 with help from young guards

Detroit News

Rod Beard | The Detroit News

It was the same two teams, but it wasn’t even close to the same result.

The Pistons and Orlando Magic played Sunday and it was a mismatch almost from the start, as All-Star center Nikola Vucevic and guard Evan Fournier, who combined for 66 points to fuel the Magic.

In Tuesday’s rematch, the Pistons looked like a different team, with better defense, energy and a big boost from their young point guards, pushing them to a turnaround win, 105-93, at Amway Center.

Saben Lee (18 points) and Dennis Smith Jr. (14 points) each had a season high and Jerami Grant added 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Pistons (9-22), who ended their three-game losing streak and have a back-to-back at New Orleans on Wednesday.

The Pistons held a 53-51 lead at halftime but pushed ahead to double digits with a 16-6 run, with six points from Grant. Smith ended the run with a fadeaway jumper and a 3-pointer, for a 69-57 advantage.

The Pistons ended the third quarter with a 14-point advantage and Lee helped get things going in the fourth quarter with his second career 3-pointer, boosting the lead to 87-71. Josh Jackson, who had 18 points and six rebounds, scored 11 points in the fourth quarter. Back-to-back baskets by Lee and Jackson helped push the lead to 20 with 5:02 left, and the Pistons held on the rest of the way.

Vucevic finished with 20 points and nine rebounds and Fournier 14 points for the Magic (13-19).

rbeard@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @Detnewsrodbeard

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