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12-12 FG | 21-39 FT | 2 BLK | 23 REB | 45 PTS | +12
With Andris Biedrins, David Lee, and Ekpe Udoh matched up on Howard, you had to figure the Golden State Warriors were going to be in for a long night. No one thought head coach Mark Jackson was going to make it longer with his Hack-a-Dwight strategy. What’s crazier? That Howard had 39 free-throw attempts or that he almost had 50 points and 25 rebounds? Take your pick.
5-12 FG | 3-7 3P | 9 AST | 4 REB | 20 PTS | +4
Lost in all the hoopla is the fact that Turkoglu played a brilliant game in the fourth quarter for the Magic, as has been the norm this season. When head coach Stan Van Gundy needed someone to make a play, he turned to Turkoglu and wasn’t disappointed. Wafer’s three-pointer generated from a 4/5 pick-and-roll with Turkoglu (at power forward) and Howard proved to be the dagger.
3-4 FG | 3-3 3P | 1 AST | 5 REB | 11 PTS | +13
For a second straight game, with Orlando going small in the final period to matchup better with an opponent, Anderson spent crunch time sitting on the bench. The decision by Van Gundy has little to do with Anderson and more to do with the personnel on the court. That said, Anderson’s defense against David Lee left a lot to be desired.
3-7 FG | 6-6 FT | 3 AST | 3 REB | 13 PTS | +10
The Magic were forced to rely heavily on Redick after Jason Richardson injured himself after spraining his left knee in the third quarter. Normally that isn’t a bad thing. Yet Monta Ellis took advantage of Redick, scoring almost at will against him in the second half. Redick isn’t a bad defender but when he’s left on an island, there’s only so much he can do.
|Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors may not be a very good team this season but as the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat found out, they can still beat you. With players like Ellis, Lee, Stephen Curry (when healthy), and even Nate Robinson that can pop off at any time, the Warriors are going to be a handful to deal with for a lot of teams in the NBA.
Eddy Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of Magic Basketball. Follow him on Twitter.