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9-20 FG | 10-14 FT | 3 STL | 16 REB | 28 PTS | +6
Howard had some extremely impressive plays on defense against the Milwaukee Bucks. Perhaps the most notable one is when Howard stole a pass from Brandon Jennings, raced down the floor while dribbling the basketball, and getting a dunk on a one-man fast break. The problem was that his effort defensively was inconsistent at times. For the Magic to win games, that can’t happen.
6-11 FG | 1-4 3P | 5 AST | 3 REB | 15 PTS | +1
Nelson made his mark in the game in the last 20 seconds or so. It was his pass that led to Anderson’s go-ahead three-pointer. It was his defense (with Turkoglu’s help) that jarred the ball loose from Jennings as he dribble penetrated into the lane, which forced a turnover. It was his two free-throws which gave Orlando a three-point lead, which ended up being the final margin of victory.
5-10 FG | 3-4 3P | 3 AST | 4 REB | 13 PTS | +1
For his standards, Turkoglu was relatively quiet in crunch time as the Magic made their comeback bid against the Bucks in the late stages of the game. Though it’s worth pointing out that Turkoglu did make a big shot with the fourth quarter winding down, hitting a fallaway jumper off the dribble near the left corner. That kept Orlando within striking distance of Milwaukee before making their final push.
5-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 AST | 6 REB | 12 PTS | -8
Davis had one of his better games of the regular season. The reason, to be frank, was that his midrange jumpshot was falling. On his jumpers, there was a noticeable arc on his shot. When he struggles with his jumper, usually his shots come out flat but that wasn’t the case against the Bucks. With Redick starting, the Magic needed scoring off the bench. Davis provided that.
What must Milwaukee be thinking at this point? In three games this season, the Bucks have had the lead in crunch time. That hasn’t stopped Orlando from coming back and winning each game down the stretch. This time around, the Magic didn’t need a 16-0 run or a 17-0 run like in the previous two games. All it took was a three-pointer from Anderson.
Eddy Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of Magic Basketball. Follow him on Twitter.