Orlando Magic Top Detroit Pistons in the Battle of the Lottery Teams


DETROIT – Mo Bamba had 22 points and 15 rebounds – both career highlights – and the Orlando Magic beat the Detroit Pistons 119-112 on Monday night.

Saddiq Bey led Detroit with 26 points in a game that had little at stake – with the possible exception of lottery positioning. The Pistons (19-46) have the second worst record in the NBA. Orlando (21-44) is now even with Oklahoma City for the fourth worst brand. Idle Minnesota (20-45) is in between.

The list of injuries and absences that night was long. Detroit was devoid of Wayne Ellington (calf), Jerami Grant (right knee), Cory Joseph (left ankle), Rodney McGruder (right elbow), Jahlil Okafor, Mason Plumlee (rest), and Dennis Smith Jr. (left knee pain). The magic was missing from Devin Cannady (right ankle), Michael Carter-Williams (left ankle), James Ennis III (right calf), Markelle Fultz (left knee), Jonathan Isaac (left knee), Chuma Okeke (left ankle), Otto Porter Jr. (left foot) and Terrence Ross (back).

The Magic was also without coach Steve Clifford, who missed a sixth game in a row. The team announced ahead of the game that Clifford has cleared the league’s health and safety protocols for COVID-19 and will return to the bench against Boston on Wednesday night.

Clifford tested positive for the virus between two vaccine shots last month.

The Magic led 51-48 at halftime and then shot 13 of 18 out of the field in the third. Orlando led 88-78 to fourth place. Detroit was late within three minutes, but Iggy Brazdeikis made a 3-pointer from the right corner to make it 112-106.


Janet Smith