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Magic beat Pistons; Van Gundy to coach All-Stars

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — J.J. Redick scored 17 points and Dwight Howard overcame free-throw problems to put up 16 points and 14 rebounds as the Orlando Magic beat the struggling Detroit Pistons 91-86 Sunday night.

The victory means Orlando's Stan Van Gundy will coach the Eastern Conference in the All-Star game Feb. 14 in Arlington, Texas.

The Magic clinched the second-best record in the East through January, behind Cleveland. Cavaliers coach Mike Brown is not eligible for the honor this season because he coached the East in last year's game.

Rodney Stuckey had 18 points and Tayshaun Prince added 16 for Detroit, which lost its fifth straight.

Orlando won for only the second time in its last 12 games at the Palace.

Both teams lost players due to injury. Detroit's Charlie Villanueva was scratched just before the opening tip because of back spasms, while Orlando guard Jameer Nelson left after the first quarter due to a hyperextended left knee.

Rashard Lewis had 15 points for Orlando, while Mickael Pietrus scored 14 before leaving the game with a leg injury. Howard had five blocks, but missed 10 of 18 free throws.

The Magic were up by as many as 15 in the first half, but Detroit was within 48-45 at the break. The Pistons, who gave up 17 offensive rebounds in Friday's lopsided loss to Miami, allowed only one to Orlando in the half.

Detroit started the second half with a 14-4 run to take a 59-52 lead and got some help from Howard, who missed seven free throws in the first three quarters.

The Pistons were ahead 65-64 at the end of the period, but Orlando rallied behind Redick's jumpers. Three more missed free throws from Howard slowed the surge, leaving the game tied at 79 with 3:54 to go.

Pietrus' 3-pointer broke the tie with 3:30 left, but he injured his right leg on the play and did not return.

Detroit was within one with a minute to play. Anthony Johnson missed an off-balance runner, but Richard Hamilton and Gordon both had go-ahead jumpers bounce off the rim.

Lewis made a pair of free throws to make it 89-86 with 9.5 seconds left, and Johnson picked off a pass to prevent a 3-point attempt that could have tied it.

NOTES: Howard entered the game shooting 60.1 percent from the line. ... Ben Wallace blocked three shots, giving him 1,999 for his career. With his next block, he will become the first NBA player shorter than 6-foot-10 to block 2,000 shots.