The Orlando Magic were able to defeat the New Jersey Nets by the score of 104-88 to win their third consecutive game of the regular season. Only snow en route to the Prudential Center could stop the Magic from doing whatever they wanted against the Nets. Orlando was led by a balanced attack, as six players scored in double-figures. Dwight Howard led the Magic with 19 points, 13 rebounds, and six blocks. Hedo Turkoglu, who looks rejuvenated with Orlando, finished with 20 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. J.J. Redick contributed off the bench with 15 points, while Jason Richardson had 14 points. Ryan Anderson, firmly in the rotation after the Magic’s trades, put up 10 points and 12 rebounds. Brandon Bass continued his mid-range shooting display, finishing with 11 points. Head coach Stan Van Gundy has been going with an eight-man rotation and it’s becoming clear, after a hectic month of December, that order is slowly restoring as Orlando heads into the new year with much different roster than which they started with in 2010.
This was an easy win for the Magic.
New Jersey put up a fight in the first half, trailing by seven at halftime. But Orlando was able to impose their will and blow the game wide open in the fourth quarter, in which their lead ballooned by as many as 23 points.
Each period for the Magic displayed a different player stepping up on offense.
The first quarter saw Bass punish the Nets with his mid-range jumper.
The second quarter showed Redick and Gilbert Arenas doing work. Arenas was able to make a few jumpers in 1/4 pick and rolls with Anderson, while Redick scored in a variety of ways — a jumper in a 2/4 pick and roll with Anderson, a three in a catch-and-shoot from Howard’s kick-out pass in a 4-out/1-in offensive set, and another three-pointer in transition from a feed by Arenas.
The third quarter was all about Howard and Richardson. Howard got involved in a a couple of 3-out/2-in offensive sets, mostly drawing fouls and getting to the free-throw line. On one possession, Howard was able to make a righty hook but he spent a majority of the period at the charity stripe.
As for Richardson, he started to heat up by getting out in transition and making some layups. However, it was a sight to see Richardson nail a spot-up three-pointer off a 1/5 pick and roll with Nelson and Howard. More of that is expected from Richardson.
The fourth quarter put the nail on the coffin, as Orlando went on a 9-2 that consisted of three free throws (one by Anderson, two by Howard) and a pair of threes made by Turkoglu and Arenas.
By then, the score was 92-73 and that was all she wrote for the Magic.
There’s not much else to say.
The offense was good and the defense was great.
Orlando took care of business and look to extend their winning streak to four games when they face off against the Cleveland Cavaliers on the road in a back-to-back.