Jrue Holiday and Arron Afflalo - Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Orlando finally beat an Atlantic Division team, and won its first road game since January 12th with a terrific all-around performance.
The last time the Orlando Magic played the Philadelphia 76ers, the Magic were absolutely pitiful offensively, scoring just 61 points in a 17-point loss. Tuesday night, the Magic looked like a totally different team, as six players scored in double figures, including all five starters. Arron Afflalo and Tobias Harris each scored 16 points, as the Magic had one of their best-shooting games of the season. Nikola Vucevic and E`Twaun Moore added double-doubles, and Al Harrington scored nine fourth-quarter points in his long-awaited season debut in the Magic's 98-84 victory.
Outstanding ball movement and aggressiveness offensively was the theme on this night for Orlando. The Magic had 33 assists and 40 points in the paint while shooting 53.9% from the field, along with a solid 45-37 advantage on the boards.
The Magic's play in the first half indicated they might indeed have a chance to win the game, as they had eight fast-break points and 28 points in the paint. After falling behind 29-20 with 8:41 remaining in the second quarter, Orlando made its move, outscoring the 76ers 27-13 the rest of the quarter to lead 47-42 at the half. Harrington made his debut late in the first quarter, missing three shots in about five minutes of play. Forward Andrew Nicholson led the Magic with 11 first-half points, while guard E'twaun Moore had seven assists.
Orlando started out quickly in the second half, outscoring Philadelphia 14-2 for a 61-44 lead after two Maurice Harkless free throws with 7:49 left in the third. The 76ers then tried to get back in the game, going on a 17-7 run to end the quarter, as they trailed Orlando 68-61 entering the fourth.
Harrington made a jumper and a 3-pointer, sandwiched around a DeQuan Jones jumper in the first minute of the final quarter, to boost the Magic lead to 72-61. The Orlando lead would remain in double figures the rest of the game, and would swell to as much as 87-66 with just under seven minutes left. The Magic cruised the rest of the way, as the 76ers' fans booed lustily, with their team being dominated by Orlando in the 14-point Magic win.
It had to make Philadelphia fans just sick to see how well former 76er center Vucevic performed against his former team, as he scored 12 points with 19 rebounds, along with a blocked shot. The 76ers' center, Spencer Hawes, was a total non-factor, scoring just six points with a rebound.
Magic newcomer Harris shot 7 of 9 from the field for his 16 points, along with 7 rebounds. Backup point guard Beno Udrih also impressed in his second Magic game, with 9 assists off the bench. Moore scored 12 points, along with 10 assists.
Only one Philadelphia starter scored in double figures, Evan Turner with ten points, as their starters combined to score just 36 points on 13 of 41 field goal shooting. Damien Wilkins and Jeremy Pargo each scored 14 points off the bench to lead Phiuladelphia, who lost their sixth game in a row.
About the only negative in the game was the fact that rookie Kyle O'Quinn, who has been impressive, did not see any playing time for the Magic with Harrington playing.
Orlando had been 0-14 against Atlantic Division teams this season before the win, and also had lost 28 of 31 games. Maybe the Magic and their young players can continue to build for the future from this impressive victory.