Detroit Pistons fall apart in second quarter to lose again, 128-102, at Orlando Magic

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Pistons went scoreless for the first four minutes of the second quarter, their first field goal falling at the 8:25 mark, when Killian Hayes knocked down a turnaround midrange jumper in the lane.

Their next field goal came at the 3:09 mark, courtesy of a James Wiseman jumper.

Detroit’s ice-cold, mistake-laden second period ultimately lost them the game, as the Orlando Magic opened the period with a 21-4 run, carried that momentum and ran away with an 128-102 victory on Sunday in Florida.

It was the Pistons’ (16-62) ninth-straight loss, and 20th in their last 21 games. The NBA’s worst team has four games remaining to avoid tying the 1979-80 Pistons’ franchise-worst final record of 16-66.

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Hayes led the Pistons with 20 points and seven assists, and Eugene Omoruyi added 19 points (6-for-17 shooting). Wiseman added a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Eight players reached double figures for Orlando, led by Jalen Suggs’ 18 points and four steals. The Magic shot 57.3% overall and 51.5% from 3.

Orlando started the game hot, opening the game with a 20-8 run after making eight of their first 10 shots. But a quick response from the Pistons allowed them to enter the second quarter trailing, 34-29.

The Magic maintained its strong outside shooting, knocking down 17 of their 33 3-point attempts. They hit their first three attempts of the second half after making nine of 16 in the first half, including two in response to a pair of Omoruyi 3s, stifling any chance of a comeback Pistons run.

It was one of Detroit’s worst efforts this season. The Pistons shot just 41% overall and 27.3% (9-for-33) from 3 while turning the ball over 16 times, with half of them taking place in the second quarter.

Defensively, the Pistons offered little resistance. Orlando’s least-efficient spot on the floor was at the free-throw line, where it made just 25 of 40 attempts.

Poor shooting, turnovers doom Pistons

A promising end to the first quarter was followed by one of Detroit’s worst 12-minute stretches of the season. The Pistons had nearly three times as many turnovers (eight) as made shots (three) in the second period, allowing the Magic to build a 22-point lead with 4:35 remaining before halftime.

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Detroit turned the ball over three times within the first three minutes alone, and they were all avoidable. Omoruyi lost his handle under the rim, Jared Rhoden threw a bad pass that nearly led to a fastbreak layup for Suggs, and Michigan alumnus Moritz Wagner drew a charge on R.J. Hampton.

Midway through the quarter, a bad pass from Hayes — turnover number five — gave Suggs a free lane to the rim in transition. Ivey chased Suggs down and fouled him, but with excessive contact. Following a review, the officials ruled it a Flagrant-1 foul, helping the Magic extend the lead to 52-35.

Orlando scored 15 points off of Detroit’s eight second-quarter turnovers. Beyond the Pistons’ mental mistakes, Suggs also made life difficult for Detroit’s guards and tallied three steals in the period.

Bagley exits game in first quarter

It’s been an up-and-down season for Marvin Bagley III, who has had stretches of strong play interspersed with poor injury luck. Freak accidents led to him missing 20 games in January and February with metacarpal fractures in his right hand, and a sprained right MCL and bone bruise had him miss Detroit’s first 13 games of the season.

Bad luck struck Bagley again in the first quarter, when the back of his head hit Jalen Duren’s knee after getting fouled on a layup attempt with 4:36 to play in the quarter. He stayed in the game and knocked down both free throws, but was later ruled “doubtful” with neck soreness. Bagley checked out at the 3:22 mark and didn’t return.

Contact Omari Sankofa II at osankofa@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @omarisankofa.

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