Ellington, Griffin power Pistons over Magic

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DETROIT, Mi. Wayne Ellington scored 17 of his 25 points in the third quarter and the Detroit Pistons defeated the Orlando Magic 115-98 Thursday night in a matchup of teams battling for Eastern Conference playoff positions.

Blake Griffin had 20 points and 10 rebounds for Detroit, which was coming off a 1-4 road trip. Andre Drummond had 18 points and 18 rebounds, and Ish Smith scored 15 points off the bench.

Aaron Gordon scored 20 points for Orlando, and former Pistons player D.J. Augustin added 18 points.

The Pistons won their 10th straight home game and moved into a tie with the Brooklyn Nets for the sixth seed in the conference. The Magic had won six straight to get back into playoff contention. The loss left Orlando a half-game behind Miami in the race for the eighth seed. The Heat beat Dallas 105-99 Thursday.

The Pistons built a 60-46 halftime lead with their outside shooting, making 9 of 16 3-pointers in the first half. The margin could have larger, but Orlando held an 11-2 edge on the offensive glass.

Ellington hit two of his five 3-pointers in the first half, then started the third quarter with four straight 3s in the first 3:08, giving the Pistons a 72-52 lead.

Detroit went up 86-60 on a dunk by Drummond off a lob from Reggie Jackson, forcing Orlando coach Steve Clifford to call his second timeout of the quarter.

TIP INS

Magic: Orlando had won six of the last nine meetings with Detroit, but lost the season series 3-1.

Pistons: Ellington has scored 20 or more points three times since signing with the Pistons on Feb. 9.

UP NEXT

Magic: At the Indiana Pacers on Saturday.

Pistons: Host the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday.