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Pistons use balanced attack in rout of Magic

Nov 3, 2007 - 3:33 AM ORLANDO, Florida (Ticker) -- The Detroit Pistons didn't use much energy on their trip through the Sunshine state.

Ronald "Flip" Murray scored 19 points to lead six players in double figures as the Pistons coasted to a 116-92 triumph over the Orlando Magic on Friday night.

Chauncey Billups had 18 points and seven assists and Tayshaun Prince scored 17 points for Detroit, which shot 58 percent (43-of-73) from the field and has won nine straight games in the series.

"Last year really doesn't matter to me," Billups said. "You have to come out and try and beat them every single game. It has nothing to do with us winning eight straight games. We try and play to win every night."

The shorthanded Pistons picked up where they left off after rolling to a 91-80 season-opening win over the Miami Heat on Thursday.

It was the second straight contest that Detroit was without guard Richard Hamilton, who missed the game due to a family emergency. The two-time All-Star led the club in scoring last season at 19.8 points.

With the game tied at 40-40 in the second quarter, the Pistons used a commanding 18-9 burst capped by Jason Maxiell's jumper with 2:58 remaining. The Pistons held a 64-55 lead at the break.

Billups and Rasheed Wallace both connected on 3-pointers during a 10-0 run to open the third, pushing Detroit's advantage to 19 points.

But the Magic fought back and cut the deficit to 84-75 after Dwight Howard split a pair of free throws at the 2:45 mark in the third. Orlando misfired on eight foul shots in the period.

However, Murray and Jarvis Hayes combined for Detroit's next 10 points to make it 94-78 on Hayes' shot from the arc with 11 minutes to go.

"I think the thing that worked for us, is that we made a lot of runs with Hayes, Murray and Maxiell," said Pistons Coach Flip Saunders, whose club held a 45-17 in points off the bench.

"Our bench is going to be a really, really huge thing for us," Billups said. "They bring a lot of energy. A lot of teams would say to stay close and wait until their bench comes in so you can take over the game. We won't have that this year. Our bench is a lot better this year and we are very encouraged by that."

Rashard Lewis poured in 21 points and Howard added 16 and 13 rebounds for the Magic, who were swept by the Pistons in the first round of the playoffs last season.

"It's only game two," Howard said. "You have to forget about this one, it's over with now. We've seen where we want to be, Detroit's at the top as far as other teams in the East."

"That's how far we have to go right there to play with the best teams in the East," Magic Coach Stan Van Gundy said. "That's how far away we are as a basketball team right now. That's Ok because we're in game two of 82. But it's going to go step by step. We have to realize that's how far we have to go."

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