The Detroit Pistons needed a victory over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday to keep them in the eighth and final playoff spot. They got what they needed with a hard-fought 108-104 victory over the Magic at the Amway Center.

Orlando took a 51-44 halftime lead, but Detroit quickly narrowed the margin early in the third quarter. A six-footer by former Magic forward Tobias Harris put Detroit on top, 56-55 with 7:22 left in the third. The Magic led 77-73 heading into the fourth quarter.

The Magic started quickly in the fourth quarter. A jumper by Mario Hezonja gave Orlando an 83-76 lead with 10:12 remaining.

With the Magic still leading 96-94, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope drilled a three-pointer to give the Pistons the lead. A driving layup by Reggie Jackson stretched their lead to 101-96 with 2:43 left.

The key to the game came over the next 2:19 when the Pistons went scoreless. After Victor Oladipo hit a jumper with 2:31 remaining, the Magic also went cold, going more than two minutes without a point.

“We didn’t feel like either team was having a really good game,” said Magic Coach Scott Skiles. “There were a lot of plays we got away from doing for most of the game; we had a one-on-one tournament going on for quite a bit of the game. Then we just made too many mistakes the last two or three minutes.”

Trailing by two with 24 seconds remaining and 20 seconds on the shot clock, Elfrid Payton chose to foul Jackson. He made both, allowing Detroit to withstand Evan Fournier’s old fashioned three-point play to make it 103-102. The Pistons made five more free throws down the stretch to preserve the victory.

Fournier led the Magic in scoring with 19 points while Payton added 17 and Oladipo 16. Jackson paced the Pistons with 24 points and Caldwell-Pope added 18.

Detroit, coached by former Magic Coach Stan Van Gundy, improved to 42-37 and remained 2.5 games ahead of the Chicago Bulls for the eighth spot. They are one-half game behind Indiana for the seventh position.

The Magic fell to 33-45. They welcome the Miami Heat to Amway Arena on Friday.

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