Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE
Playing without SG guard Jason Richardson while he recovers from lung inflammation, the Magic continued their recent domination of New Jersey, winning their ninth game in a row over the Nets 108-91. It was a solid, well-balanced effort, as seven Magic players scored in double figures, led by Dwight Howard's 20 points and 17 rebounds. Reserve Glen Davis had his best game in a Magic uniform, scoring 16 points on 8 of 11 shooting. The Nets, who were without PF Kris Humphries, had only three players score in double figures, led by Marshon Brooks with 24 points on 10 of 15 shooting, and Deron Williams with 23 points and 8 assists. Williams also had 7 turnovers, and did not score in the fourth quarter.
The Magic's offensive execution and pick-and-roll was brilliant all game, with 32 assists on 45 field goals. The 32 assists was only the second time since the 2004 season, and the first time in nearly five years, that the Magic had at least 32 assists in a game. The Magic outshot the Nets 53.6% to 46.7%, shot 13 of 29 (44.8%) on three pointers, and outrebounded the Nets 46-37, including 16-7 offensively. The Magic reserves had their best game of the season, scoring a collective 42 points on 19 of 30 shooting, and all 13 Magic players in uniform saw action.
The Magic were able to win easily despite an awful showing at the free throw line, as they shot just 5 of 15 there. The 33% figure was only the third time in Magic franchise history that they shot as low as 33% on free throws in a game. The five made free throws was only the fifth time in franchise history that they made as few as five free throws in a game.The Magic started flat briefly, making just 2 of their first 7 shots as New Jersey had a 5-4 lead to open the game. The Magic then heated up quickly, and made 13 of their last 17 shots of the quarter, on their way to a 34-17 lead after one. The Magic outshot the Nets 62.5% to 38.1%, assisted on 13 of their 15 field goals, and made 4 of 9 three pointers. Jameer Nelson and Davis each had 8 points to lead the Magic in scoring.
The Magic continued their strong play in the second quarter, leading by as many as 53-31 with under three minutes remaining. Perhaps the highlight of the quarter was when Magic reserve Von Wafer grabbed a defensive rebound at one end, and took it all the way down to the other end for a driving dunk for a 55-34 Magic lead. Wafer scored 6 of his 8 points in the second. The Magic led at half 58-41, with Davis leading the Magic with 14 points on 7 of 8 shooting. Ryan Anderson had 11 points and 5 boards, Howard had 8 points, 8 rebounds.
New Jersey threatened to get back in the game in the third period, as Deron Williams made 4 of 5 shots in the first 4 1/2 minutes, including 3 three pointers, as the Nets went on a 18-9 run to come within 67-59. That was as close as the Nets would get, though. The Magic went on a 17-6 run, led by reserve PG Chris Duhon, of all people. Duhon scored 8 of his 11 points during the run. J.J. Redick added a three pointer to close out the Magic scoring in the third, as they went into the final period with a comfortable 87-70 lead. Howard already had a double-double of 15 points, 14 rebounds.
The closest the Nets would come in the final frame was 91-78 with just over 7 minutes remaining, but the Magic went on a 10-1 run to put the game away, culminated by a Hedo Turkoglu three pointer as the Magic led 101-79. The Magic finished the final 2 1/2 minutes with a lineup of Ish Smith, Von Wafer, DeAndre Liggins, Earl Clark, and Daniel Orton. Liggins and Wafer made baskets to finish the scoring in the 108-91 Magic win.
Other game notes:
-In addition to Howard, Davis, and Duhon, four other players scored in double figures for the Magic. Anderson added 14 points with 9 rebounds and 3 assists, Redick scored 12 points on 4 of 7 three point shooting, Turkoglu scored 10 points along with 3 assists, Nelson 10 points, 7 assists.
-Nets' center Brook Lopez, in his second game of the year after breaking his foot, scored 15 points along with 4 rebounds and 2 blocks.
Here is the game box score.