Keyon Dooling throws down a tomahawk slam on Louis Williams in the Magic's 115-99 victory over the 76ers on Friday night.
Photo by Sam Greenwood, Getty Images
It's been said that teams that live by the three also die by the three. The Magic certainly lived by the three last night, drilling 15 of their 33 long-range attempts to crush the 76ers, 115-99, at home. Hedo Turkoglu set a career-high with seven triples, and Jameer Nelson matched his career-high with five. Here's the GameFlow, and here's the boxscore.
Let me say the following, though: the Magic weren't overly impressive. This win had more to do with Dwight Howard's defensive dominance and Philadelphia's offensive ineptitude than it did with anything else. The 76ers looked lost offensively for the first three periods. Were they even running plays? It seemed as though a typical Philadelphia offensive possession consisted of somebody overdribbling, then passing to someone else, who would overdribble before taking a perimeter jumper. On the rare occasion that they drove the lane, Dwight Howard was there to swat or alter their shot. Dwight finished with three blocks, and would have had at least three more if his teammates hadn't fouled the shooter on those plays. He owned the paint last night. And ohbytheway, he also had 24 points and 18 rebounds. Solid.
The game was not as close as the final margin might indicate, which, given the way the Magic seemed to sleepwalk through long stretches, makes me wonder how good they'd be if they played their hardest all the time. Philadelphia went into gunning mode in the final two minutes, in which they made their only three three-pointers on the evening. After letting the 76ers hang around for the first three periods, they went for the jugular in the fourth. Turkoglu and Lewis combined for 24 points in the final frame, overcoming a hot-shooting streak by Philadelphia's Andre Iguodala, who went 5-of-7 for 13 points in the fourth.
A few other notes:
- The 76ers feature Calvin Booth and Kevin Ollie (remember him?), two players who made my dad exclaim, "They're still in the league?!" when they checked in. Booth played a solid game, snaring four rebounds and even blocking one of Howard's shots. Ollie was less impressive, but nearly got Howard ejected.
- Pat Garrity, not James Augustine, was on the active roster. I can't think of a rational explanation as to why.
- Tuesday in Detroit, the Magic nailed 70% of their three-pointers; then they laid an egg in Toronto the next night. Let's hope they don't cool off tomorrow night against the Kings.
- The Keyon Dooling slam pictured above elicited this hilarious reaction from the bench.
- The Magic are now 24-2 when Dwight blocks 3 shots or more.
That's all. See you tomorrow for the Kings game.