Second Look: Orlando Magic 90, Charlotte Bobcats 86 | Magic Basketball

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Apr 25

Second Look: Orlando Magic 90, Charlotte Bobcats 86

Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “Are the [Orlando] Magic conducting some bizarre experiment? It looks as if they’re now trying to invent new and different ways to win that don’t include four-time all-time star Dwight Howard and barely include eight-time all-star Vince Carter. Take Saturday’s game of charades. The Magic won despite committing 21 turnovers for 31 points. They won with point guard Jameer Nelson, 5-foot-10, taking over the 6-11 Howard’s role as top scorer. They won with power forward Rashard Lewis playing Carter’s role as go-to guy late.”
  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “Howard picked up his sixth foul with 3:32 remaining in regulation, and the Bobcats took an 80-79 lead when Raymond Felton made a free throw. But the Bobcats couldn’t take advantage of Howard’s absence. “It didn’t seem like he was out, because we wasn’t attacking the rim, and the spacing was still terrible on our part,” Charlotte’s Stephen Jackson said. Rashard Lewis, tender left ankle and all, quickly drew two fouls and made all four of his free throws to give the Magic an 83-80 lead. Nelson hit a six-foot shot in the lane, Vince Carter hit a pair of foul shots and backup center Marcin Gortat made three of four shots from the stripe to close out the victory.”
  • Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel: “The Magic are so good and so deep that they are winning even when they play badly as they did during their 21-turnover monstrosity Saturday. It makes you wonder just how dominant these guys are going to be when Howard actually starts playing instead of sitting on the bench in foul trouble. The Magic big man played only 26 minutes and fouled out Saturday, but still the Bobcats couldn’t pull out the victory despite an obnoxiously loud sellout crowd for its first home playoff game since the city was awarded a franchise six years ago.”
  • John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com: “Games like this, when Dwight Howard is constantly saddled with foul trouble, are why the Orlando Magic retained Marcin Gortat. Games like this, when Orlando’s top two scorers are effectively limited, are when the Magic can fall back on being the NBA’s deepest team. And games like this, converting repeatedly down the stretch on the road against a desperate Charlotte team, show why the Magic are once again championship contenders. Getting some clutch rebounding and – of all things – free throw shooting from Gortat and gutsy offensive play from Jameer Nelson and Rashard Lewis, the Magic rallied in the final three minutes for a 90-86 defeat of the Bobcats that was immensely telling. Not only did it the victory give the second-seeded Magic a commanding 3-0 lead in the series, but it also showed the steely resolve of an Orlando team that’s had to go other places for points and production. And the Magic again looked like a playoff-tested team on Saturday, rallying from a one-point deficit with their best player (Howard) having already fouled out.”
  • Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post: “The Bobcats scored only 6 points after Howard fouled out, and a lot of credit goes to Orlando’s defense. But I can’t help but think that Charlotte did Orlando some favors on their possessions. Boris Diaw rushed a three-pointer, and Larry Hughes clanked another trey well short near the end of the shot clock on the next possession. Hughes learned his lesson and drove to the basket on the next play, drawing a foul on Carter and converting the free throws. Felton got a nice layup inside. But overall, you’d have to say the Bobcats settled for two many jumpers late in the game, and Jackson’s missed three-pointer really nicely sums up Charlotte’s approach down the stretch. Just too early to take that shot–though he was, again, very open on a beautiful play Brown drew up for him.”
  • Tom Sorensen of the Charlotte Observer: “Instead of imposing themselves on the Howard-less Magic, however, the Bobcats continued their three-fest. They scored only six more points, two on a layup by Felton, the other four on free throws. “I never thought I would coach a team where a third of their shots would be 3s,” coach Larry Brown said. The Bobcats took 74 field-goal attempts, 23 of them 3s. They shot as many 3s as they did free throws. Only five 3-point attempts went in. In the fourth quarter, Charlotte took six 3s and not one was good.”
  • Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer: “Here it is, in the official play-by-play: 3 minutes, 32 seconds left, and All-Star Howard commits his sixth personal foul, attempting to block a Raymond Felton layup. Felton makes the resulting free throw and the Charlotte Bobcats lead 80-79. And then….wretched. The Bobcats were outscored 11-6 to lose 90-86 and fall behind 3-0 in this best-of-7 playoff series. If the Bobcats don’t win Monday, they’ll be swept in their first playoff appearance.”
  • John Krolik of ProBasketballTalk: “After a back-and-forth second half, the door was open for Charlotte when Howard, who’d been effective throughout the fourth quarter, fouled out with the Bobcats up one and three and a half minutes to play. The Bobcats didn’t have enough shooting to get over the hump, and Boris Diaw and Larry Hughes came up short on crucial three-point attempts. With the Bobcats down one and 31 seconds to go, Larry Hughes called timeout and set Stephen Jackson up with a three-point look. He missed it. After that, the Magic made enough free throws to hold on, and the Bobcats now find themselves in a 3-0 hole.”
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