Dwight Howard dunks down 2 of his career-high 39 points against the Sonics on Wednesday night.
Photo by Joe Murphy, NBAE/Getty Images
It took career-highs from two key Magic players for the team to knock off the 2-13 SuperSonics, but they pulled it off in the end by going on a 17-2 run to close out the game. Here's the boxscore.
Dwight Howard posted 39 points, 16 rebounds, and 5 blocks, picking up the slack left by teammate Rashard Lewis, who managed just 9 points on 3-of-19 shooting in his return to Seattle. Carlos Arroyo, playing more minutes to accommodate an ailing Jameer Nelson, ran the offense splendidly by handing out 14 assists, a career-high, while committing only 1 turnover.
The game was much closer than the final score indicates, but it should not have been that way. The SuperSonics were a miserable 34-of-96 from the field, but managed to hang around thanks to a pesky zone defense and a plethora of offensive rebounds. Credit them for sticking with a far superior team and for not giving up on the game.
But credit the Magic for not giving up on their game plan. Despite the team's 7-of-26 mark from three-point range, Hedo Turkoglu didn't hesitate when he jacked a three-pointer with 2:31 remaining. It went in, boosting the Magic's lead to 102-94. Keith Bogans hit three pointers on consecutive possessions to ice the game for Orlando. Stan Van Gundy has made it clear to his players that they are to shoot the three-pointer if it presents itself, percentages be damned, and that strategy keyed the Magic's win this evening.
One of the Magic's keys to victory was J.J. Redick, who filled in for Keyon Dooling at backup shooting guard. Redick scored his first 11 points of the season on just 5 shot attempts to give the Magic an offensive boost.
The Magic get Thursday off before facing the Suns in Phoenix on Friday. They'll need all the rest they can get.
- Rashard may have stunk it up from the field, but he did manage to pull down 10 boards, a season high.
- Kevin Durant and Wally Szczerbiak combined for 44 of Seattle's points... and shot a combined 12-of-41. Efficiency is not a hallmark of SuperSonics basketball, at least not this season.
- By my unofficial count, Dwight had 6 dunks.