Orlando Magic 103, Philadelphia 76ers 87

This game proved to be quite a difference for the Magic from their last performance 17 days ago against Philadelphia, when the Magic scored just 69 points. Wednesday night, in a solid, all-around performance, the Magic had six players score in double figures as they led from start to finish and held off every 76ers second-half run for a 103-87 victory. Jameer Nelson dished out a career-high tying 14 assists, and Ryan Anderson made a career-high tying 7 three point field goals. The Magic continued their strong three point shooting, making 15 of 25 (60%). Overall, they outshot the 76ers 53.3% to 42.4%.

Anderson led the Magic with 27 points, Dwight Howard added a double-double of 17 points, 14 rebounds, and Nelson scored 12 points to go along with his 14 assists. Reserve guard Louis Williams scored 21 points to lead Philly, and Andre Iguodala added 15 points.

    The Magic got off to a roaring start in the first, as they jumped out to a 23-6 lead with over four minutes remaining, and led 29-16 after one. Great ball movement was the story of the opening quarter for the Magic, as they had 10 assists on 11 field goals. Anderson was the main benificiary of the good ball movement, as he scored 14 points in the opening frame on 5 of 6 shooting, including 4 of 5 from long range. The Magic shot 57.9% in the quarter, while holding the 76ers to just 31.8% shooting.

    Philly came alive in the second quarter, shooting 10 of 20 (50%), as they came as close as 45-39 with just under two minutes remaining. The Magic finished the half with a flourish, scoring the final ten points, including three pointers by Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson, as they enjoyed a 55-39 halftime lead. The Magic continued their strong shooting, as they equaled their first quarter shooting at 57.9%. The 76ers' starters were awful in the first half, as they combined for just 13 points on 5 of 21 shooting. Anderson had 14 points, Howard 13 points, and Nelson 8 assists at the half. Williams led the 76ers with 11 points.

    The 76ers made another charge in the third quarter. They scored 16 points in the first 3 1/2 minutes to pull within 62-55, and came as close as 75-70 with 1:45 remaining. They had a chance to pull within two, but Iguodala's three pointer was off the mark. Chris Duhon and J.J. Redick each made jumpers in the final minute to extend the Magic's lead to 79-70 entering the fourth. In the third, the 76ers had their best quarter of the game, scoring 31 points on 14 of 22 shooting (63.6%). The Magic continued their steady play on offense, scoring 24 third quarter points on 10 of 20 shooting (50%).

    The Magic continued to hold on to their lead in the final frame, but Philly came to within 88-80 after two Williams' free throws with just under five minutes remaining. The Magic then put the game away, going on a 15-6 run, making 4 three pointers in that span. The Magic's defense really came through in the fourth, holding the 76ers to 17 points on 5 of 21 shooting (23.8%).

    The Magic are now 19-11, and have won 8 of their last 10 games following their horrible 5 losses in 6 games stretch. Beating a quality 76ers' team, along with their solid play overall in this stretch, shows the Magic have what it takes to be a legitimate contender in the East.

    Other game notes:

    • -J Rich continues his solid play, scoring 14 points, including 4 of 5 on threes. Hedo Turkoglu added 11 points to go along with 7 boards and 2 assists.
    • -The Magic reserves scored 22 points, led by Redick who scores 12 points. Glen Davis, who played 17 minutes, made the only shot he attempted, scoring 4 points along with 2 rebounds and 2 assists. Quite a change from the last game, when Davis attempted 10 shots, making just one.
    • -All five Magic starters shot at least 50% from the field.
    • -The 76ers' reserves outscored their starters 49-38.

    Here is the game box score.

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