The Orlando Magic were able to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks by the score of 99-94. After a quick start by the Magic in the early stages of the first quarter, the Bucks were able to take control of the game for most of the first half. For a majority of the second half, it was a series of runs for Orlando and Milwaukee, with both teams going back and forth exchanging leads. Eventually, after trailing by double-digits with the score at 88-78 in favor of the Bucks with 4:58 remaining in the game, the Magic went on a 21-6 run to close out the contest. Orlando was led by a balanced attack, as four players scored in double-figures. Jason Richardson had, arguably, his best game with the Magic since joining the team in December 2010, finishing with a game-high 31 points on 11-of-18 shooting from the field (including 9-of-11 from three-point range), 4 rebounds, and two steals. Hedo Turkoglu had a bounce-back game of sorts after struggling to play well the past few weeks, putting up 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field, six assists, and five rebounds. J.J. Redick came off the bench and had 14 points as well as three rebounds. Dwight Howard contributed with 11 points, 14 rebounds, and four blocks. For the Bucks, Mike Dunleavy (14 points, three rebounds, and three assists) and Ersan Ilyasova (17 points and 16 rebounds) were bright spots.
To be frank, this game didn’t get interesting until the very end.
As mentioned before, Orlando was down by 10 points with less than five minutes left in the fourth quarter. It seemed like, for all intents and purposes, Milwaukee was going to come away with a victory.
But, as was the case against the Atlanta Hawks on Friday, the Magic were able to dig deep and go on a extended run in crunch time. And this time around, unlike the Hawks game, Orlando was able to finish the job.
[4:54, 88-81 MIL] Richardson makes 24-foot three-point jumpshot (Turkoglu assist)
[4:28, 88-83 MIL] Nelson makes floater
[3:46, 88-86 MIL] Richardson makes 25-foot three-point jumpshot (Anderson assist)
[3:24, 89-88 ORL] Richardson makes 26-foot three-point jumpshot (Nelson assist)
[2:47, 91-88 ORL] Turkoglu makes layup
[2:05, 94-88 ORL] Richardson makes 27-foot three-point jumpshot
With the Bucks leading by the score of 88-78, the Magic went on a tear to not only cut into the deficit but take the lead. Already with four made three-pointers in the second half, Richardson kept his hot shooting going by making a three-point shot on the left wing in a catch-and-shoot situation following an inbounds pass by Turkoglu. Shortly thereafter, Jameer Nelson ran a 1/5 pick-and-roll with Howard, making a floater off the dribble in the lane. After that, following a missed fallaway jumper along the right baseline by Turkoglu, Anderson got the offensive rebound and kicked it out to Richardson at the top of the key. Richardson, of course, proceeded to make another three-pointer. Head coach Scott Skiles called timeout to try and stop the run but to no avail. Following a turnover by Carlos Delfino, head coach Stan Van Gundy ran a screen-and-curl at the top of the key for Richardson, knowing that he’s on fire at this point. Richardson obliged with another three-point shot. With that three-pointer, Orlando took the lead at 89-88 and never relinquished it. But the Magic kept going.
Not letting up, Turkoglu continued the scoring surge with a layup in transition off the dribble.
Richardson, then, had the play of the game.
After Gooden missed a long two at the top of the key, Dunleavy chased after the offensive rebound but in the process of doing so, he inadvertently popped Richardson in the mouth. Undeterred and with his mouth bleeding, Richardson got the basketball on the left wing. Richardson took Carlos Delfino off the dribble and connected with a three-pointer on the left wing. It was Richardson’s ninth made three-point shot (his eighth in the second half). The score, at this point, was 94-88 in favor of Orlando — a 16-0 run. Gooden, Turkoglu, and Ilyasova traded three-pointers after Richardson’s ninth three-point shot, which put the score at 97-94 with 57.3 seconds left in the period.
Turkoglu, after going only 1-of-2 from the free-throw line, eventually iced the game after Glen Davis got the offensive rebound for the Magic. That allowed Turkoglu to go back to the charity stripe and even though he only made one free-throw again, it put Orlando up five with 17.3 seconds left.
That was good enough to seal the deal for the Magic.
Eddy Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of Magic Basketball. Follow him on Twitter.