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11-21 FG | 1-2 FT | 12 REB | 3 AST | 23 PTS | -2
Midrange jumpers. Hook shots. Layups. Vucevic could do no wrong offensively. The problem was that Marcin Gortat (20 points and 13 rebounds) was equally infallible on offense. And that’s the rub with Vucevic. For as good as he’s looked on the offensive side of the ball since the start of preseason, his defense needs to be much better than it currently is.
7-12 FG | 6-7 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 22 PTS | +9
Gordon came off the bench and did what he does best — score. He scored 18 of his 22 points in the second half (11 in the fourth quarter) and gave the Magic a much-needed boost offensively when they needed points. The lone negative was coach Jacque Vaughn’s curious decision to have Gordon defend Paul Pierce in crunch time. It didn’t work.
8-10 FG | 3-4 3P | 1 STL | 4 REB | 21 PTS | -2
When the Magic acquired Fournier from the Denver Nuggets in the Arron Afflalo trade, this is the player they are hoping to see consistently. Fournier’s play of the game came late in the fourth quarter when the Magic were trying to erase a 16-point fourth quarter deficit. He made a 3-pointer from Saint-Maurice, France that cut the Wiz’s lead to three and prompted a timeout from coach Randy Wittman.
4-12 FG | 5-7 FT | 1 STL | 4 REB | 14 PTS | -15
It wasn’t the best night for Harris. His jump shot was off (though he did attack the rim and get to the free-throw line). And he had the dubious task of defending Nene in the fourth quarter when Vaughn stuck with a lineup of Ridnour-Gordon-Fournier-Harris-Vucevic that had, to be fair, helped the Magic get back into the game.
It was the John Wall show. Washington’s franchise player and All-Star point guard finished with 30 points, 12 assists, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals. He was excellent on both ends of the floor and he came through in the clutch. With the Wizards clinging to a 100-98 lead, it was Wall’s layup with 28.4 seconds left that iced the game.