Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 111

Feb 06

Recap: Los Angeles Clippers 107, Orlando Magic 102 (OT)

AP Photo/John Raoux

BOX SCORE

In a thrilling game that went down to the wire, the Los Angeles Clippers were able to defeat the Orlando Magic by the score of 107-102 in overtime. Jason Richardson missed a game-tying three-pointer, when the score was 105-102 in favor of the Clippers, with seven seconds left that would have extended the game for the Magic. Instead Los Angeles was able to escape with a victory and Orlando’s three-game winning streak was snapped. The Clippers were led by a balanced attack, as four players scored in double-figures. Chris Paul was Chris Paul, finishing with 29 points on 9-of-16 shooting from the field (including 3-of-3 from three-point range and 8-of-8 from the free-throw line), eight assists, seven rebounds, and two steals. Blake Griffin finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists. Chauncey Billups chipped in with 18 points and three assists, while also suffering an injury late in the fourth quarter. Caron Butler had 14 points, three rebounds, and three steals but more importantly, he performed in crunch-time (five points) during overtime as Los Angeles finished on a 11-2 run to win the game. Dwight Howard led the way for the Magic, putting up a game-high 33 points on 15-of-21 shooting from the field, 14 points, two blocks, and two steals. Jason Richardson contributed with 20 points and three assists. Jameer Nelson returned to the starting lineup after missing five games due to a concussion and performed well, amassing 15 points, 12 assists, and three rebounds. Ryan Anderson had 10 points and nine rebounds, missing a pair of offensive putbacks following Richardson’s game-tying three that would have given Orlando a chance to keep the game going.

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Feb 06

Reaction: Los Angeles Clippers 107, Orlando Magic 102 (OT)

Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images


Los Angeles Clippers 107 Final
Recap | Box Score
102 Orlando Magic

Dwight Howard
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.

Jason Richardson
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.

Jameer Nelson
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.

Ryan Anderson
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.

Feb 06

Preview: Los Angeles Clippers at Orlando Magic

7:00 ET | Sun Sports
14-7 @ 15-9
Pythagorean Record: 12-9 Pythagorean Record: 13-11
Pace: 91.3 (18th) Pace: 89.7 (25th)
Offensive Rating: 107.9 (4th) Offensive Rating: 102.4 (16th)
Defensive Rating: 105.7 (24th) Defensive Rating: 101.1 (12th)
Amway Center | First meeting this season

Feb 05

Recap: Orlando Magic 85, Indiana Pacers 81

Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images

BOX SCORE

Playing for the third time already during the regular season, the Orlando Magic were able to defeat the Indiana Pacers by the score of 85-81. In this season series, the road team has won every game. For the Magic, this extends their winning streak to three games. Three players led the way for Orlando. Dwight Howard had one of his better offensive performances of the season, finishing with 27 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the field (including 7-of-10 from the free-throw line), eight rebounds, three steals, and two blocks. Jason Richardson chipped in with 17 points, six rebounds, and five assists. Ryan Anderson had 12 points and seven rebounds. As for Hedo Turkoglu, he had an odd stat-line, as he finished with nine points on 2-of-11 shooting from the field (including 0-of-6 from three-point range), 10 rebounds, four assists, and eight turnovers. The Pacers were led by a balanced attack, as five players scored in double-figures. Perhaps the player that had the best game for Indiana was Tyler Hansbrough, as he was able to come off the bench and put up 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting from the field (including 5-of-6 from the free-throw line), seven rebounds, and two steals in roughly 20 minutes of playing time. Yes, Hansbrough put up numbers but it was also his energy and effort that impressed (ditto with Lou Amundson).

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Feb 05

Reaction: Orlando Magic 85, Indiana Pacers 81

Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images


Orlando Magic 85 Final
Recap | Box Score
81 Indiana Pacers

Dwight Howard
10-16 FG | 7-10 FT | 2 BLK | 8 REB | 27 PTS | +5

It’s more than obvious at this point that Howard lives to play against Roy Hibbert whenever the Magic play the Indiana Pacers. Orlando ran 4-out/1-in offensive sets throughout the game for Howard and he feasted. Perhaps the most impressive thing about his performance was the fluidity by which played on offense. He looked a lot like the 2010-2011 version out there on offense.

Jason Richardson
7-16 FG | 3-7 3P | 5 AST | 6 REB | 17 PTS | +11

Richardson’s best sequence came early in the third quarter. He dribble penetrated into the lane and dished it to Howard for a dunk, which produced an and-one for the big fella. On the next possession, Richardson made a corner three in transition. On the next possession after that, he made a mid-range fadeaway jumper in a screen-and-curl. Shortly thereafter, same play, same result.

Ryan Anderson
3-6 FG | 5-5 FT | 1 AST | 7 REB | 12 PTS | +13

Anderson had a quiet game for his standards. In some ways, he got outplayed when matched up against Tyler Hansbrough. Hansbrough brought a lot of energy to the table and Anderson struggled to deal with that at times, primarily early in the fourth quarter. But Anderson got the last laugh, as he made four clutch free-throws at the end of the game that sealed the deal for the Magic.

Hedo Turkoglu
2-11 FG | 5-7 FT | 4 AST | 10 REB | 9 PTS | +13

Turkoglu had one of the strangest games he’s ever had since playing for Orlando, which is saying something because he’s been with the franchise for quite a while now. Turkoglu didn’t shoot the basketball well at all, he turned the ball over way too much, and he committed a silly technical foul at the end of the game that could have nearly cost the Magic.

Indiana Pacers

No one for the Pacers, outside of Hansbrough and Lou Amundson, played particularly well. It’s no coincidence that when Hansbrough and Amundson were in the game together, Indiana was able to cut their deficit from 10 points late in the third quarter to as close as one point midway in the fourth quarter. That momentum seemed to die, though, when Hibbert and David West reentered the game.

Eddy Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of Magic Basketball. Follow him on Twitter.

Feb 04

Preview: Orlando Magic at Indiana Pacers

7:00 ET | NBA TV
14-9 @ 16-6
Pythagorean Record: 12-11 Pythagorean Record: 14-8
Pace: 89.5 (26th) Pace: 91.6 (16th)
Offensive Rating: 102.9 (16th) Offensive Rating: 102.8 (17th)
Defensive Rating: 101.8 (14th) Defensive Rating: 98.9 (6th)
Bankers Life Fieldhouse | Season series tied 1-1

Feb 04

Recap: Orlando Magic 102, Cleveland Cavaliers 94

AP Photo/John Raoux

BOX SCORE

The Orlando Magic were able to defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers by the score of 102-94, extending their winning streak to two games. The Magic were led by a balanced attack, as five players scored in double-figures. Dwight Howard led the way for Orlando with 19 points, 16 rebounds, and eight blocks. After resting from a sore knee the past two games, Jason Richardson made his return to the starting lineup and scored 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field (including 3-of-4 from three-point range). Hedo Turkoglu finished with 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field, seven rebounds, and four assists. Ryan Anderson chipped in with 17 points and eight rebounds. Von Wafer came off the bench and played well, putting up 11 points on 3-of-6 shooting from the field in roughly 16 minutes of playing time. Perhaps the one eye-opening stat for the Magic is that they turned the basketball over merely five times against the Cavaliers. And even though Howard shot 9-of-16 from the free-throw line, all 16 attempts came in the fourth quarter as head coach Byron Scott decided to intentionally foul him as the game winded down. Howard’s imbalanced free-throw distribution is probably one of the weirder stat quirks you’ll find this season. Orlando took firm control of the game from the first quarter onward.

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Feb 04

Reaction: Orlando Magic 102, Cleveland Cavaliers 94

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images


Orlando Magic 102 Final
Recap | Box Score
94 Cleveland Cavaliers

Dwight Howard
5-12 FG | 9-16 FT | 8 BLK | 16 REB | 19 PTS | +9

He’ll never admit it publicly, but Howard has been taking off plays and coasting in games this season on defense. That was never more evident than against the Cleveland Cavaliers, where Howard suddenly played like the reigning Defensive Player of the Year in the second half after going half-speed in the first and second quarters. He’s at his best when he’s dominating on the weak-side defensively.

Ryan Anderson
5-14 FG | 2-6 3P | 1 AST | 8 REB | 17 PTS | +14

It says a lot about Anderson’s skill-set at this point that him putting up 17 points and eight rebounds comes as no surprise. He did what he does well. He made three-pointers, he got to the free-throw line, and he attacked the offensive glass (perhaps his most underrated skill). It’s unlikely he’ll get any consideration for the All-Star Game but that’s the level he’s been playing at after 22 games.

Jason Richardson
7-12 FG | 3-4 3P | 1 AST | 4 REB | 19 PTS | +19

Taking two games off to rest his sore knee did wonders for Richardson. He looked as lively as he’s ever been during the regular season, and it’s no coincidence that he has one of his best games so far this season. His greatest asset is his three-point shooting and when that shot is falling, as it did against the Cavaliers, he makes a positive impact for the Magic.

Hedo Turkoglu
7-12 FG | 2-5 3P | 4 AST | 7 REB | 18 PTS | +12

Turkoglu had that patented step-back jumper going for him all night against Cleveland. In that regard, Turkoglu’s game is very predictable because you know what he’s going to do with the basketball in his hands. He likes to that take dribble to his left, then fire away. He also got things going in 3/5 pick-and-roll sets with Howard in crunch time. Also very predictable.

Cleveland Cavaliers

For three quarters, the Cavaliers couldn’t do much of anything. With Howard patrolling the paint, it made it especially difficult for Cleveland to attack the rim with any consistent success. For the game, the Cavaliers went 18-of-39 at the rim (46.2 percent). But Ramon Sessions and Alonzo Gee caught fire for Cleveland in the fourth quarter and made things interesting at the end.

Eddy Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of Magic Basketball. Follow him on Twitter.

Feb 03

Friday’s Magic Word

  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “The Orlando Magic have suspended power forward Glen Davis for tonight’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers and Saturday’s game against the Indiana Pacers because of what team officials are labeling ‘conduct detrimental to the team.’ Davis had an outburst during the team’s shootaround this morning at Amway Center as the team went through some of the Cavaliers’ plays on the team’s practice court. Davis and coach Stan Van Gundy ultimately got into an argument. Van Gundy would not discuss many of the details of what happened, but Van Gundy and a witness said the disagreement never turned physical. [...] That said, Davis has developed a reputation within the Magic organization as an intensely emotional player. In December, the Magic and Davis agreed to a four-year deal worth about $26 million, and the Magic acquired Davis and swingman Von Wafer in a sign-and-trade deal with the Boston Celtics for power forward Brandon Bass. Davis’ play so far this season has been up and down. At times, he has provided the bone-crunching screens, the hustle plays and the rebounding the team coveted when it acquired him. But at other times, Davis has migrated too far from the basket and attempted jumpers that are out of his range.”
  • Ish Smith is looking forward to playing in his first game with the Orlando Magic.
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “The Magic still believe Howard leaves the door open to staying at times, and felt good about the possibility…. until the team lost six of eight games in a recent stretch. The Magic are still banking on the fact that Howard’s ability to make $30 million more in Orlando (bigger raises for a player who re-signs with his own team) plays a major role in his decision.”
  • Head coach Stan Van Gundy is complimentary of Kyrie Irving.
  • Jason Richardson will play against the Cleveland Cavaliers after sitting out the last two games.
  • Should the Magic call Dwight Howard’s bluff of leaving money on the table? Jerry West, a consultant for the Golden State Warriors, thinks so.
  • More on Glen Davis’ two-game suspension.
  • Jared Dubin of Hardwood Paroxysm: “While the Magic attempt to stave off a Dwight-induced self-destruction, Cleveland is looking to prove that they belong in the playoff conversation in the East. Kyrie Irving is having one of the best rookie seasons in NBA history, Anderson Varejao is off to the best start of his career and the Cavs are winning much more than anyone had any right to expect.”
  • Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don’t Lie on Howard’s appearance in the All-Star Game: “By all accounts, he’ll still be with the Magic by the time the All-Star game tips off on Feb. 26. And Magic fans, mindful of the nationally televised audience and their own team’s dodgy future, will no doubt give Howard the biggest standing ovation he’s ever heard as he’s introduced. That’s how fans work. They’ll save the boos and hisses for when Howard eventually leaves the team this summer. And he will leave this team. Which will make the ovation — as a recruiting tool — a needless exercise. Sad.”
  • More from Dwyer: “We were in favor of Smith trying to get something, anything, for Howard last fall. But after needlessly re-signing Jason Richardson and Glen Davis to two too-big deals, the Magic have to drag Howard along as long as they can and either hope for that slim chance that he’ll return, or take whatever cap freedom they’ll get with a clean break. This team could get a “clean break” by offering Howard up later this month for all expiring deals, but why waste the income and run of a potential play into May just for what you’re about to get for Howard anyway plus some potential draft picks in the low first round?”
  • Davis has been strange this season for the Magic.

Eddy Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of Magic Basketball. Follow him on Twitter.

Feb 03

Preview: Cleveland Cavaliers at Orlando Magic

7:00 ET | Sun Sports
8-12 @ 13-9
Pythagorean Record: 8-12 Pythagorean Record: 12-10
Pace: 92.3 (11th) Pace: 89.4 (26th)
Offensive Rating: 100.8 (23rd) Offensive Rating: 102.5 (19th)
Defensive Rating: 111.2 (30th) Defensive Rating: 101.7 (14th)
Amway Center | First meeting this season
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