The Orlando Magic were able to defeat the Philadelphia 76ers by the score of 103-87. The Magic avenged one of their worst losses of the regular season, which occurred on January 30 against the Sixers on the road. Orlando lost 74-69 in that game, which upped their losing streak to a season-high four games. The Magic won this time around. Orlando was led by a balanced attack, as six players scored in double-figures. Ryan Anderson blitzed Philadelphia, finishing with a game-high 27 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the field (including 7-of-10 from three-point range). Dwight Howard finished with 17 points, 14 rebounds, and two blocks. Jameer Nelson had one of his best games of the season, putting up 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field, 14 assists, and four rebounds. Jason Richardson chipped in with 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field (including 4-of-5 from three-point range), three assists, and two steals. Hedo Turkoglu had 14 points and seven rebounds, while J.J. Redick had 12 points. Super-cub Lou Williams led the way for the Sixers, amassing 21 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field (including 2-of-4 from three-point range and 5-of-6 from the free-throw line), seven assists, and four rebounds. Excluding back-to-back three-pointers by Evan Turner and Williams for Philadelphia at the tail end of the first quarter, the entirety of the period was a microcosm of how the rest of the game would go for Orlando.
The Magic jumped out to a 17-point lead in the quarter thanks in large part due to crisp execution offensively and stifling team defense.
The Sixers entered the game ranked first in Defensive Rating. In the opening period, Orlando systematically picked apart Philadelphia’s defense.
The Magic started the game off by running a 4-out/1-in offensive set for Howard, in which he made a righty hook on the right block against Elton Brand after reposting to get better position and getting the ball from Nelson. From there, Orlando ran a screen-and-curl for Richardson, with Howard setting a pin-down screen. That led to a layup for Richardson. Then Richardson made a three-pointer in the right corner in transition.
This is where the Magic really began to execute on offense.
Turkoglu and Howard executed a 3/5 pick-and-roll. Turkoglu passed it to Richardson on the right wing, Richardson swung the basketball to Anderson in the right corner, and Anderson made a three-point shot. After that, Anderson got an easy dunk in the paint following a handoff pass from Howard on the left block. Then Anderson made another three-pointer, this time on the left wing, after Nelson and Howard ran a 1/5 pick-and-roll, with Nelson making the pass. On the ensuing possession, Nelson executed a 1/4 pick-and-pop with Anderson, dribble penetrated into the lane, then made a nifty behind-the-back pass to a cutting Howard for a layup and the foul. Howard would go on to make the free-throw and complete the three-point play.
After Anderson made his third three-pointer of the quarter in transition on the left wing and Turkoglu made a fallaway jumper along the right baseline off of a 3/5 pick-and-roll with Howard, Orlando made their point. This was not going to be a repeat of January 30.
Philadelphia deserves credit for fighting back in the second and third quarters, trailing by as little as five points at one point. But the Sixers were at the Magic’s mercy and that seemed evident throughout the game.
Orlando put the finishing touches of an impressive win against Philadelphia by ending things as they started, with crisp execution offensively and stifling team defense.
The score was at 88-80 in favor of the Magic with 4:58 left in the fourth quarter before they decided to hit another gear.
Turkoglu got things going by running a 3/5 pick-and-roll with Howard, proceeding to attack the basket and draw a foul on Brand. Turkoglu went 1-of-2 from the free-throw line. A little more than a minute later, Anderson found himself with the ball in his hands on the perimeter and he also attacked the basket, drawing a foul on Thaddeus Young, getting to the free-throw line, and making both free-throws. Then the three-point barrage for Orlando began.
In the Magic’s next five possessions after Williams made two free-throws, they made four three-pointers. The first three-point shot came via Anderson on the left wing on a 1/5 pick-and-roll with Nelson and Howard. The second three-point shot came via Richardson on the right wing in transition. The third three-point shot came via Richardson, again, on the right wing, again, on a 1/5 pick-and-roll with Nelson and Howard, again. The fourth three-point shot came via Nelson at the top of the key ironically after execution of a 1/5 pick-and-roll with Howard broke down.
It was just one of those nights for Orlando when everything came together.
Eddy Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of Magic Basketball. Follow him on Twitter.