Magic 103, Suns 93: Ryan Anderson and Dwight Howard Lead Orlando to Victory

Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRE

The Orlando Magic snapped out of their three-game offensive funk as they were able to take advantage of the Phoenix Suns, who suffered a tough loss against the Miami Heat the previous night, in the 103-93 Magic victory. The four-out, one-in Magic offense, along with the pick-and-roll, proved to be too much for the Suns, as the Magic led by as much as 22 points in the fourth quarter before the Suns' reserves made the final more respectable. The Magic shot 48% on three-pointers, making 11. Ryan Anderson enjoyed the second-best scoring night of his career with 29 points, including a career-high tying 7 three-point field goals. Former Magic center Marcin Gortat was no match for Dwight Howard, as Howard dominated with 28 points, 16 rebounds, 3 blocks. Glen Davis led a nice effort from the Magic reserves with 16 points and 7 rebounds. J.J. Redick added 10 points and 4 assists.

The Steve Nash and Gortat pick-and-roll, which has been so successful for the Suns this season, was practically non-existent for them against the Magic, as the Magic defended it very well. Gortat did not score until the second half, and finished with just 4 points along with 9 rebounds and 3 blocks. Nash had a rare off-night, scoring 12 points, all in the first-half, but finished with more than twice as many turnovers (5) as assists (2). Wing Jared Dudley led the Suns, scoring 17 points, 13 of which came in the first half. Former Magic forward Grant Hill had 6 points along with 4 rebounds and 2 assists.

Team Pace Efficiency eFG% FT Rate OReb% TO Rate
Suns 92.3 100.8 50.6% 16.5 27.5 18.4
Magic 92.3 111.6 53.6% 16.9 32.6 18.4
Green denotes a stat better than the team's season average;
red denotes a stat worse than the team's season average.
Anderson's 3 three point field goals in the first quarter, along with Howard's 7 points, staked the Magic to a 27-21 lead after one. Dudley scored 13 points on 6 of 7 shooting in the opening quarter to keep the Suns close. The Magic scored 30 second quarter points on 55% shooting to extend their lead to 57-44 at the half. Anderson had 16 points at the half, including 4 of 5 on threes. Howard had 15 points, 9 boards at the half. The 57 first-half points from the Magic nearly matched their abysmal total of 59 points for the whole game against Chicago Monday.

The Magic maintained their double-digit lead in the third quarter, and extended it to 80-60 after a Quentin Richardson layup late in the period. Orlando led by a comfortable margin of 81-62 going into the fourth quarter, with Howard scoring 10 third-quarter points.

The Magic had their largest lead of the game 92-70 with 7:58 remaining in the fourth quarter after a Redick three-pointer. The Suns, though, cut their deficit to 96-83 after a Robin Lopez layup with just under five minutes remaining. An angry Magic coach Stan Van Gundy re-inserted Howard and Jameer Nelson back into the game at this point. With the score 96-85 Magic, an Anderson three-pointer, a Howard bucket down low and a Nelson basket gave the Magic a 103-87 lead with under two minutes remaining to finally put the game away. The Magic allowed 31 fourth-quarter points, scored mostly by the Suns' reserves, who shot 14 of 22 (64%) in the final period to make the final more respectable at 103-93 Magic.

Other game notes:

-Magic shooting guard Jason Richardson was held scoreless on 0 for 7 shooting for just the fourth time in his career in 20 or more minutes of playing time. He did contribute 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and a steal.

-Nelson scored 9 points on 4 of 6 shooting with 3 assists, while Hedo Turkoglu added 7 points on 3 of 6 shooting, 3 assists, 2 rebounds, 2 steals, and a block.

-The Magic committed 6 first-half turnovers, but had 11 turnovers in the second half. Redick had four turnovers, while Anderson and Turkoglu had three each.

-While Anderson had a terrific night offensively, he struggled rebounding with just 4 boards in 38 minutes.

-It was only the sixth time in Nash's career that he had as few as 2 assists in a game along with at least 5 turnovers.

-The Suns' reserves scored 45 points on 50% shooting.

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