Arron Afflalo enjoyed a happy return to Detroit on Friday, but the Magic experienced a letdown on Sunday and couldn't complete a weekend sweep.
Orlando moved to 2-0 in games against Arron's former teams this season with their 110-106 victory over the Pistons on Friday night. The come from behind win snapped a five-game losing streak and gave the Magic their first road win of the season.
Arron added 19 points, two rebounds and an assist while shooting 7-for-14 from the floor against the team that drafted him. AA said every trip back to Detroit, where he began his NBA career, brings back memories.
"I always look forward to playing here, just like I will this year in Denver," he said.
No. 4 set out to redeem himself early after committing a career high seven turnovers against the Knicks in the previous game, knocking down 5 of his first 7 shots. He collected two steals while committing no turnovers in the first half.
Glen Davis doing great... Afflalo doing amazing.
— JASON RECI orlando (@DjJasonReci) November 17, 2012
The Magic trailed by as much as 13 points mid-way through the third quarter, but rallied behind returning point guard Jameer Nelson, who had been out since opening night with groin and hamstring injuries.
Arron had a big had in the win on both ends of the floor. In addition to his 19 points, No. 4 forced a key miss by Pistons center Greg Monroe with 33 seconds left in the fourth quarter, which allowed the Magic to extend the lead to four on a Glen Davis hook shot.
AA also scored the final points of the game on two free throws to extend the lead back to four points with 3.3 seconds left on the clock, putting the Pistons on ice.
"That was a great team win," Coach Jacque Vaughn said. "We made stops and we knew if we could do that we could get a good look on offense. So it was a great ability by us to get stops down the stretch to give ourselves a chance."
DEFENSE FALTERS IN TORONTO
Unfortunately the Magic weren't able to carry the momentum from Friday's win with them north of the border into their game with the Raptors on Sunday.
A slow start cost the Magic in Toronto as they fell behind by thirteen points in the first quarter before ultimately falling on the road to the Toronto Raptors 97-86. Arron attributed the early lapse to a lack of focus on the defensive end.
"We're not focused defensively in the beginning of the game," Arron said. "That's it. We're thinking about points. Winning teams think about stops. That's it. There's no other way to put it."
The Magic were playing without their second leading scorer J.J. Redick, who sat with an illness, and Arron attempted to pick up the slack with 15 points and a pair of assists. AA had another perfect night from the free throw line, shooting 6-for-6, bringing his free throw percentage back up to 90-percent. He has not missed a free throw on the road this season.
Arron Afflalo for MVP #letsgetMAGICal
— Skip Kovar (@SkipKovar13) November 18, 2012
With his help, the Magic managed to jump back into the game with a third quarter rally and after three they led by two, 69-67. But the Magic lost their defensive intensity again in the fourth and mid-way through the fourth quarter the Raptors pulled away with a 19-4 run. Orlando allowed 24 Toronto points in the final eight minutes on the way to their sixth loss of the season.
"We played good defense in the third quarter," Arron said. "We started getting offensive minded again in the fourth quarter. Whenever we're offensive-minded as a team, we're not focused defensively, we usually go down 10 or 20. Winning teams in the first quarter at the beginning of the game and in the fourth quarter at the end of the game, they think about stops."
The Magic get a quick opportunity to shake off Sunday's loss as they complete a road back-to-back on Monday night in Atlanta.
Arron believes the game against the division rival Hawks has big implications for the Magic as they look to get back on track and complete their road trip on a good note.
"It's a big game for us," Arron said of the upcoming game following yesterday's loss. "It's still early in the season. It was a tough loss tonight, another winnable game, but hopefully we'll have our mind wrapped around the right things tomorrow."
Tonight's tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and the game is available locally on Fox Sports Florida or nationally on NBATV.
- Orlando Magic notch comeback win (Orlando Sentinel, November 17, 2012)
- Denton's Dish: November 16 (OrlandoMagic.com, November 16, 2012)
- Denton's Notebook: November 16 (OrlandoMagic.com, November 16, 2012)
- Raptors beat the Magic 97-86 after Orlando starts slowly again (Orlando Sentinel, November 19, 2012)
- Denton's Dish: November 18 (OrlandoMagic.com, November 18, 2012)
- Magic-Raptors Postgame: Afflalo (Orlando Sentinel, November 17, 2012)