AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Brandon Jennings had 24 points and a career-high 21 assists, and the Detroit Pistons held off the Orlando Magic 128-118 on Wednesday night.
Andre Drummond added 26 points and 16 rebounds for the Pistons, who have won 12 of 15. Detroit nearly blew a 21-point third-quarter lead, but Jennings helped the Pistons close it out in the fourth.
Nikola Vucevic led Orlando with 26 points.
Greg Monroe had 24 points and 10 rebounds for Detroit, which never trailed. The Pistons led by 11 after the first quarter and by 17 at halftime.
Orlando cut the lead to two in the fourth, but the Pistons went on a 14-2 run to regain a comfortable margin.
With the score 102-100, Jennings scored four straight points, and he later found Anthony Tolliver for a 3-pointer that made it 111-102.
A 3-pointer by Jodie Meeks — off another assist by Jennings — put the Pistons up by 14.
The Pistons jumped to a 26-12 lead and were ahead 35-24 after one. The Magic cut the lead to six before Detroit finished the half on a 13-2 run. Kyle Singler’s 3-pointer at the buzzer made it 65-48.
Jennings has been instrumental in Detroit’s surge back into playoff contention, and he had 11 assists in the first half. His lob to Drummond for a one-handed dunk was a highlight of the third quarter and put the Pistons ahead 92-73. It was another alley-oop to Drummond that gave Jennings a career high with 20 assists. That dunk made it 122-110.
Singler scored 14 points for Detroit.
Orlando’s Victor Oladipo scored 23 points, but the Magic wasted that effort with another poor defensive performance. This was the most points they’ve allowed all season, surpassing Sunday’s 127-99 loss to Oklahoma City.
Jennings was the first player with at least 20 points and 20 assists in a game since Steve Nash had 21 points and 20 assists for Phoenix against Philadelphia on Nov. 9, 2009, according to STATS.
Magic: Tobias Harris missed all five of his shots in the first half, but he finished with 19 points in his return after missing five games with a sprained left ankle.
Pistons: Jennings had 19 assists for Milwaukee on March 2, 2013, in an overtime win over Toronto. … Detroit’s 128 points set a season high. The previous mark came in a 119-109 win over Indiana on Dec. 26 in what was the Pistons’ first game after waiving forward Josh Smith.
Magic: Visit New York on Friday night.
Pistons: Visit Milwaukee on Saturday night.
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