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Orlando defeats Detroit

May 08, 2008|From the Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Rashard Lewis was due for a breakout game. It couldn't have come at a better time for the Orlando Magic.

Lewis, Orlando's big off-season acquisition, scored a career playoff-high 33 points and the Magic defeated the Detroit Pistons, 111-86, on Wednesday night to gain a little momentum in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Detroit leads the series, 2-1, although it suffered a tough injury. All-Star guard Chauncey Billups strained his right hamstring early in the first quarter and didn't return. The Pistons were hopeful he could play in Game 4 Saturday in Orlando but planned to re-evaluate him again today.

Lewis was shooting 36% from the field in the first two games of the series, including two for 12 from three-point range. He shot 11 for 15 on Wednesday, five for six from beyond the arc, and scored 12 of Orlando's last 14 points as the Magic took a 54-42 halftime lead.

"I made my first couple and really felt like I was going to have it going tonight," said Lewis, who came to the Magic in a trade with Seattle. "I know my three-ball hasn't been falling this whole series."

Richard Hamilton scored 24 points, Tayshaun Prince had 22 and Rasheed Wallace only 11 for Detroit. With Billups out, rookie Rodney Stuckey stepped up for the Pistons. He scored 19 points -- nine in the second quarter -- but he didn't bring the same floor presence as Billups, Detroit's steady leader and clutch three-point shooting threat.

Billups was averaging 17.5 points in the postseason and had 28 against the Magic in Game 2.

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