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Magic use huge third-quarter run to glide past Pistons

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Associated Press
11/21/2012 9:56:31 PM
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ORLANDO, Fla. -- Andrew Nicholson scored 15 points, Glen Davis had 11 points and 14 rebounds, and Orlando used a 21-0 run to open the third quarter to earn a 90-74 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.

Orlando struggled to compete with Detroit's big men early, but used the big spurt to blow open the game. The surge included a more than 10-minute scoring drought by the Pistons.

Greg Monroe scored 19 points and Rodney Stuckey added 13 for Detroit, which connected on just 28 of its 85 field goal attempts for the night.

The Magic stopped a two-game losing streak. They continue a five-game homestand Friday against Cleveland.

The Pistons lost to the Magic for the second time in a week. They return home Friday to host Toronto.

Detroit led 48-45 entering the third quarter, but went ice cold from the field, missing its first 14 shots and committing five turnovers to allow Orlando to take a 66-48 lead.

The Pistons finally got their first points of the quarter on a pair of free throws by Stuckey, but didn't end their field goal drought until the 1:59 mark.

The Magic got points from all over the place during the run, including a variety of 3-pointers and easy layups.

Pistons coach Lawrence Frank pulled all his starters at one point during the Magic's onslaught and when they couldn't stop it, he subbed for some of them.

Detroit finished the period with eight points, just besting its franchise-low mark of six points in a quarter. For the Magic, it tied a franchise low for points allowed in a third quarter.

The Magic's lead reached 20 in the opening minutes of the final period as the Pistons never were able to rekindle their early offensive flow.

Looking for a better matchup with 6-foot-9 Pistons small forward Tayshaun Prince, Magic coach Jacque Vaughn gave rookie Maurice Harkless his first start career start at that spot. The shift allowed Arron Afflalo to move back to his natural shooting guard spot.

Harkless' speed did give the veteran fits at times in half court, and in turn opened up the court for his teammates on offence as the Pistons had to respect his ability to get to the rim.

It didn't seem like it would be an easy night for Orlando in the early going, though.

The Pistons led by three at the half, dominating the Magic for the second straight game in the front court.

Detroit scored 32 of its 48 points in the opening 24 minutes in the paint, led by Monroe with 15.

Orlando fell into a 23-13 hole late in the first quarter, before using a 16-6 run to tie it 29.

The spurt, punctuated by a fast-break dunk by Harkless, featured 10 points from the Magic's young contingent of first- and second-year players.

The most active was Nicholson, who finished the half with 10 points to lead all Magic scorers.

Notes: The 74 points were the fewest the Pistons have scored this season. ... Prince briefly left the game late in the first quarter after banging his left knee with another player. ... The eight points allowed by the Magic in the third quarter was the fewest they've allowed in third quarter since 1999 at New Jersey.

Andrew Nicholson (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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