The Magic faced the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night, their first game since being routed by the Boston Celtics on Christmas Day.
Brian Schmitz provides a recap of the Orlando Magic's win against the Milwaukee Bucks last night - a contest that was a tale of two halves.
Orlando Magic notes: Stan Van Gundy wanted to get Dwight Howard the ball deeper in the paint
Josh Robbins reveals this tidbit from the Magic's victory ...
The Magic set a franchise record for field-goal percentage in the second half by shooting 78.4 percent. The old record of 78.3 percent was set in the second half of a 120-105 win over New Jersey on Jan. 19, 1990.
Jason Williams insisted in the hours leading up to Wednesday night's game against the Milwaukee Bucks that he has no problem with coming off the bench for the Orlando Magic. After all, he said, he knew that would be his role when he signed with the team.
Williams soon showed just how valuable he can be in a reserve role.
He provided a critical spark as the Magic recovered from an eight-point third-quarter deficit to defeat the Bucks 117-92. Williams, who made all five of his shot attempts from beyond the arc, finished with 16 points and seven assists.
Magic's Nelson Continues To Struggle
J.A. Adande of ESPN.com shares a report from Orlando.
The 16 games Jameer Nelson missed with a knee injury weren't much of a problem for the Orlando Magic, but his return to the lineup can't really be called a solution. [...]
"We're going to have to go back and evaluate where we are with Jameer," Van Gundy said. "There's medical concerns and people don't want him to get re-injured." [...]
"I understand that we're trying to protect him," Van Gundy said. "We've got to somehow find a balance. If he's not going to practice and we're going to use games like practice, I don't know how valuable that's going to be. Four days off and they don't want him doing anything in practice, that makes it very, very hard."
Savage: Magic-Bucks Postgame Analysis
Dan Savage of OrlandoMagic.com offers analysis from yesterday's game.
Behind the Box Score, where Vince Carter has come alive!
Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don't Lie states the difference in the contest.
The Magic got to the line, and Milwaukee did not. The Bucks never get to the line, and the Bucks foul too much. Simple differences, simply stated. It's a nightly hole that they dig themselves, and Scott Skiles' team is going to have a rough go of things approaching .500 if they continue to drop the odd 7-9 nights from the free throw line. [...]
Down the stretch, while I appreciated the spacing and some of the attempts to find Bucks for corner threes, I didn't like Milwaukee's screen and roll game. I didn't like how it put the ball in the hands of Luke Ridnour too much (Luke played the entire fourth, didn't register an assist, and had five points), and didn't appreciate the way Brandon Jennings only played five minutes in the fourth (pouring in seven points on four shots), or how Andrew Bogut was used as some sort of screening wing type.
That said, there wasn't much Milwaukee could do. Not when the Magic were hitting the sorts of three-pointers they were tossing in. 10-21 overall, a fantastic 47.6 clip, and a lot of these bombs were properly contested. Jason Williams(notes) hit five in five tries, Vince Carter dropped 25 on just 16 shots, and Orlando is the better team.
Recap: Magic 117, Bucks 92
UPDATE (from Ben): Frank Madden of Brew Hoop is a bit disenchanted with the Bucks, which led to his listing "Uh, competitiveness?" as one of the positives in Milwaukee's loss.
I feel cheap giving the Bucks credit for doing the job they get paid millions of dollars to do, but this team has looked so lost of late that it was at least nice to see them come out looking unafraid against a very good team (and on the road no less). And while the final margin was much bigger than against the Bobcats, the fact that they survived past halftime might be something to build on. God, my standards are low.
Orlando Magic put together ridiculous second half in victory over Bucks
UPDATE 2 (from Ben): The Magic's second-half onslaught earned high praise from Zach McCann of Orlando Magic Daily:
You won’t see the Orlando Magic play a better half of basketball — and you might not ever again — than the second half of their 117-92 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night.
UPDATE 3 (from Ben): Via Charles Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Bucks center Andrew Bogut explains how the game unravelled:
"Dwight was scoring in the third, but we were still kind of right there," Bucks center Andrew Bogut said. "Then J Will just goes bang; he goes 5 for 5 from three.
"Then their confidence is rolling. (Mickael) Pietrus starts hitting threes. We contained them pretty well for 2½ quarters.
"Coach's worst fear was the three-point shooting. We let them get going and the basket started looking like an ocean to some of their shooters."