Lewis leads Magic to Game 3 rout of Pistons
By Travis Reed
ORLANDO, Fla. ó Rashard Lewis was due for a breakout game. It couldnít have come at a better time for the Orlando Magic.
Lewis, Orlandoís 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 didnít return. The Pistons were hopeful he could play in Game 4 Saturday in Orlando, but planned to re-evaluate him again Thursday.
Lewis was shooting 36 percent from the field in the first two games of the series, including 2-of-12 from 3-point range. He shot 11-of-15 on Wednesday, 5-of-6 from behind the arc, and scored 12 of Orlandoís last 14 points as the Magic took a 54-42 halftime lead.
iI made my first couple and really felt like I was going to have it going tonight,î said Lewis, who came to the Magic in a trade with Seattle. iI know my 3 ball hasnít been falling this whole series.
iDetroitís obviously been a team thatís been beating us the past couple of years,î Lewis said. iThe main focus is we donít want to dig ourselves too deep of a hole. We want to try to win our home games, take the series back to Detroit 2-2.î
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 ó nine in the second quarter ó but he didnít bring the same floor presence as Billups, Detroitís 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.
iIím concerned because (Billups is) our quarterback; he runs our team,î Pistons coach Flip Saunders said. iYou saw our first two games. Heís been a huge part of why weíve been successful.î
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