Hamilton scored 27 points in 29 minutes before sitting out the
fourth quarter and Ben Wallace added 19 rebounds as the Detroit Pistons defeated the Magic 101-86 Monday night.
Hamilton had only four points in the first 18 minutes, but he
scored 23 in the next 18 minutes as Detroit easily erased a
13-point second-quarter deficit.
"I can heat up pretty quickly, and that's what happened
tonight," Hamilton said. "When I went back into the game in the
second quarter I knew we needed a quick burst, so I decided to
look for my shot a little more."
Tracy McGrady, NBA's leading scorer at 30.1 points a game, had
20 points and shot just 6-of-19, missing several times inside.
"We did a good job of making the guy try to make plays,"
Pistons coach Rick Carlisle said. "We happened to catch him on a
night when he was missing, but I'd like to think our guys had
something to do with that."
The only real bright spot for Orlando was a solid effort from
Grant Hill. He'd missed seven of the previous eight games, but he
didn't look rusty at all in the first half, when he hit six
straight shots. But he was held scoreless in the second half and
finished with 12 points in 25 minutes.
"I came out and tried to get into a rhythm early, because I
knew I wasn't going to get to play a lot," said Hill, who is being
limited to six-minute stretches by the Magic coaching staff. "I
felt pretty good early, but I did get tired. I know I have to play
more to get in better condition."
The Pistons seized control by scoring the first eight points of
the second half and led by as many as 17 in the final period. Cliff
Robinson added 17 points for the Pistons, who have won five of six.
The Magic tried to slow the 6-foot-7 Hamilton by putting 6-1
Darrell Armstrong on him in the third period, but Hamilton got 10
points on Armstrong before leaving the game for good at the end of
"I think they were hoping Darrell could use his quickness to
keep track of me, but when I have a small guy, I just try to get to
a spot and elevate over him," Hamilton said.
The Pistons put the game away with defense in the final quarter,
limiting Orlando to 3-of-15 shooting for the period. The Magic
missed nine straight field-goal attempts and didn't make a basket
for nearly nine minutes after Steven Hunter's layup cut the deficit
to 82-77 with 10:50 left in the game.
Armstrong finally ended the drought with a 17-footer from the
corner with 1:58 left, but the Magic still trailed 97-84.
Hunter played his first game of the season for Orlando,
scoring six points and six rebounds in 13 minutes. He missed the
first 39 games recovering from knee surgery. ... The Pistons
outrebounded the Magic 47-34. ... Detroit, which came in shooting
37 percent from 3-point range, made 9 of 15 (60 percent) against