The playoffs were six months and one coach ago for the Pistons, but one thing hasn't changed: Their team play is still better than the Magic's one-man show.
Richard Hamilton scored 10 of his 20 in the fourth quarter and backcourt partner Chauncey Billups added 17 to lead Detroit over Orlando 96-85 Saturday night. Chucky Atkins, the Pistons' third guard, had 14.
It was the teams' first meeting since the opening round of last season's playoffs. The Magic held a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series, but the Pistons rallied.
Like in April and May, Detroit had to hold fast against a barrage by Tracy McGrady. He scored 18 of his 31 in the third quarter but misfired afterward.
McGrady missed all seven of his shots in the final quarter, while the rest of his Orlando teammates shot 5-for-12 as the Magic was held to 13 points.
"We wore him down a little bit," said Pistons center Ben Wallace, who had 13 points and 17 rebounds for his second double double of the season. "No one else really stepped up to take control over the game."
McGrady heated up after the game.
"My guys are starting to learn each other and they don't know where their spots are at," said McGrady, who finished 10-of-24 from the field and 10-of-11 from the free-throw line. "Nobody knows when to cut, where to cut; point guards don't know if they should pass or stay or go through.
"So, there's a little bit of confusion there."
SONICS: Guard Ray Allen will be out six to eight weeks after arthroscopic surgery on his right ankle.