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RECAP: Nikola Vucevic vaults Magic past Pistons

Feb 21, 2021; Orlando, Florida, USA; Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevik (9) dribbles around Detroit Pistons center Mason Plumlee (24) during the first quarter of a game at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

Nikola Vucevic poured in 37 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as the Orlando Magic topped the visiting Detroit Pistons 105-96 on Sunday.

Vucevic, who was coming off a 30-point triple-double Friday against the Golden State Warriors, was 14 of 27 from the field and made all seven of his free-throw attempts.

Evan Fournier supplied 29 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for the Magic, who have won three consecutive games and four of five. Terrence Ross added 17 points off the bench, while no other Magic player had more than seven points.

Jerami Grant led Detroit with 24 points and five rebounds. Josh Jackson had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the PIstons, while Saben Lee contributed 12 points, five assists and three steals. Saddiq Bey chipped in 11 points and eight rebounds.

The Magic outscored the Pistons 26-17 at the free-throw line. Orlando shot 43.2 percent from the field and limited Detroit to 37.4 percent shooting.

The teams will meet again in Orlando on Tuesday.

Fournier scored seven of the Magic’s first nine points of the second half as Orlando opened a 65-53 lead. The Pistons answered with four 3-pointers in short stretch to pull within 68-65.

Vucevic then drained his own 3-pointer to begin an 8-0 Orlando spurt. When Chasson Randle hit a jumper, the Magic’s lead was 81-67 with 3:26 remaining in the third quarter.

Detroit finished the quarter on a 9-2 run to cut Orlando’s advantage in half at 83-76. Jackson had five points and an assist during that span.

When Vucevic found Ross for a dunk with 9:04 remaining, the Magic had a 92-81 lead. Plumlee made two free throws to bring Detroit within seven at 99-92. Vucevic then scored the next six points to secure the victory.

Fournier and Vucevic combined for 31 first-half points as Orlando led 56-48 at the break. Grant was the lone Pistons player in double figures at halftime with 13 points.

The Magic led by as much as 11 in the first half as Detroit shot 36 percent from the field.

–Field Level Media