35 games into the Orlando Magic’s regular season schedule and they’ve already had to endure through two 9-game losing skids so far. Thursday night the Magic faced a daunting task taking on former Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy’s Detroit Pistons, whom currently are the No. 4 seeded team in the Eastern Conference.

With the return of power forward Aaron Gordon and guard Evan Fournier, the Magic were able to end the slide and got by Detroit with a resounding 102-89 victory at the Amway Center. Orlando will take floor again at home tomorrow night when they face in-state rival Miami Heat. The Heat defeated the Magic 107-89 on Tuesday night down at the American Airlines Arena.

”The last couple of games it’s been about other guys trying to pick up the scoring load,” Magic coach Frank Vogel said about guys picking up the slack. ”Biz and Mo were both great tonight. We had our best passing game in a few weeks and it resulted in better shooting. And that stretch toward the end of the third quarter and into the fourth where the ball was really moving, the guys were not looking to force things and we got the payoff.”

Orlando got some unexpected play from the front court, with Bismack Biyombo scoring 12 points and 13 rebounds and Mo Speights came off the bench and chipped in 16 points. Magic point guard Elfrid Payton flirted with a triple-double on the night and scored 19 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.

Detroit was without the services of point guard Reggie Jackson and shooting guard Avery Bradley, whom were both inactive against Orlando. Former Magic forward Tobias Harris scored 21 points and Pistons center Andre Drummond ended the evening with 17 points and 18 rebounds, respectively.

“We don’t need everybody to have great nights, but we can’t have that many guys have that bad a night and think we’re going to get wins,” Van Gundy said.

About The Author

Andy Villamarzo has covered high school and youth sports for the Tampa Bay Times and The Tampa Tribune as a correspondent since 2008. He is a native of Holiday, FL, who graduated from Gulf High School and studied at St. Petersburg College. He has covered various prep, collegiate and professional athletes throughout his writing career, including Josh Johnson (Jacksonville Jaguars), Patrick Schuster (Arizona Diamondbacks) and currently writes for other publications like The Suncoast News, Friday Night Football Magazine and TopDrawerSoccer.com.

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