The AP reports: Rashard Lewis, Orlando’s big offseason acquisition, scored a career playoff-high 33 points and the Magic beat the Detroit Pistons 111-86 on Wednesday night to gain a little momentum in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Detroit still leads the series 2-1, though they 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 Thursday… Richard Hamilton scored 24 points for Detroit and Tayshaun Prince had 22, while Rasheed Wallace scored 11 points on 4-of-15 shooting. With Billups out, rookie Rodney Stuckey stepped up big 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 3-point threat. Billups was averaging 17.5 points in the postseason and had 28 against the Magic in Game 2… Detroit failed to score a field goal in the opening 4:27 of the fourth quarter until Hamilton made a layup. By then the Magic were ahead 87-73—helped by a Lewis 3-pointer and putback—and the Pistons would get no closer.
InsideHoops.com Stat Notes: The Magic shot 53.8%, the Pistons just 40.3%. And the Magic nailed 11-of-24 three-pointers (Lewis hit 5, Hedo Turkoglu hit 3), the Pistons just 2-of-10. The Pistons had a slight free throw edge. The Magic had a slight rebounding edge and dished 18 assists, while the Pistons only had 12 (no Piston had more than 3 assists).
For the Magic, Rashard Lewis had 33 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. Dwight Howard (8-of-13) had 20 points, 12 rebounds, 3 steals and 6 blocks. Jameer Nelson had 18 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Turkoglu (just 7-of-18) had 18 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists. Keyon Dooling scored 10 off the bench.
For the Pistons, Richard Hamilton took 20 shots for 24 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists, but 6 turnovers. Tayshaun Prince (8-of-14) had 22 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. Rodney Stuckey (5-of-13, 9-of-9 free throws) scored 19 off the bench. And Rasheed Wallace (awful 4-of-15) had 11 points and little else.