In their final game of the regular-season, the Orlando Magic routed the Charlotte Bobcats, 98-73, to finish with 59 victories. Power forward Tony Battie, filling in for the injured Rashard Lewis, scored a game-high 21 points on 9-of-16 shooting, adding 9 boards for good measure. Mickael Pietrus, starting for the injured Hedo Turkoglu, did a little bit of everything with 19 points, 3 boards, and 5 assists. Dwight Howard played the first and third quarters and tallied 10 points, 12 rebounds, and 3 blocked shots in his cameo appearance. Virtually every Magic player performed well. Charlotte was led by Raymond Felton, with 13 points in 26 minutes. Because of the Chicago Bulls' inexplicable loss to the Toronto Raptors, and the Philadelphia 76ers' win against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando will meet Philadelphia in the first round of the playoffs. The schedule is forthcoming.
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Clearly, this game was one of the Magic's better performances in a while. They avoided extending their season-long losing streak to 4 games, and the outcome tonight was never in doubt. As such, it's hard to read anything into the result, other than it likely means the Magic will finish the year ranked #1 in defensive efficiency. (Thank you, Bobcats!) Obviously, there's no trophy awarded for that, but it's a nice accomplishment nonetheless. The next time someone tells you all the Magic can do is jack three-pointers, set them straight.
Also from the trophy-free department of accomplishments: the Magic completed a season-sweep of the Bobcats for the first time in franchise history.
If anything, enjoy Marcin Gortat's barrage of jumpers, Pietrus' 4 three-pointers, and Adonal Foyle's 2 blocks in only 6 minutes of play. And Jeremy Richardson's solid all-around line of 7 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 assist in 10 minutes. It'll likely be the last you see of Foyle and Richardson in a Magic uniform. Savor it.