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15-21 FG | 3-8 FT | 2 BLK | 14 REB | 33 PTS | +8
Howard came to play against the Los Angeles Clippers. Which meant that DeAndre Jordan, Reggie Evans, and Blake Griffin had no chance of stopping him on offense. Howard got the righty hook going for him in 4-out/1-in offensive sets for three quarters before aiding Jameer Nelson by setting screens in pick-and-rolls, terrorizing the Clippers’ defense in the fourth quarter. Howard was a beast.
8-15 FG | 3-8 3P | 3 AST | 1 REB | 20 PTS | +2
Even though the Orlando Magic lost, it has to be encouraging for them to see Richardson play well for a third straight game. The Magic jumped out to a 15-point lead in the first quarter thanks in large part to Richardson. He had 12 points in the period. In overtime, he had about as good of a look as you can get at a game-tying three-pointer but it rimmed out.
5-13 FG | 4-4 FT | 12 AST | 3 REB | 15 PTS | -3
After missing five games due to a concussion suffered against the New Orleans Hornets on January 27, Jameer Nelson looked as good as he’s ever been this season. With Hedo Turkoglu struggling, Van Gundy turned to Nelson to run pick-and-rolls for Orlando in crunch time during the fourth quarter and in overtime. Nelson didn’t disappoint, proving he’s still a capable player when engaged.
3-10 FG | 2-5 FT | 1 AST | 9 REB | 10 PTS | +2
Considering Anderson had to deal with defending Griffin for most of the game until late in the fourth quarter and most of overtime when Van Gundy elected to utilize Glen Davis defensively, it was an admirable performance. Anderson doesn’t have the athleticism or strength to contain Griffin. But, with Howard’s help in the middle, Anderson held his ground for the most part.
|Los Angeles Clippers
It’s a shame for Los Angeles that Billups got hurt because with the addition of Kenyon Martin, this team was going to be a force to be reckoned with in the Western Conference. It remains to be seen how long Billups is out but in the meantime, rejoice in a fully healthy Chris Paul because he’s a joy to watch and a killer on the court.
Eddy Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of Magic Basketball. Follow him on Twitter.