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Wizards 93, Magic 85: Orlando Struggles Offensively in Loss to Washington


One night after performing like a finely tuned offensive machine against Detroit, the Orlando Magic were nowhere near as sharp offensively, as no Magic starter shot over 50% from the field, and the team shot just 36.6% overall. The Washington Wizards took advantage of the absence of Dwight Howard in the middle as Kevin Seraphin had a career night of 24 points on 11 of 16 shooting, 13 rebounds, and 4 blocks in the 93-85 Wizards' victory, which broke a nine-game Magic winning streak over the Wizards. The 13 rebounds by Seraphin was also a career-high, while the four blocks tied a career-high.

Jameer Nelson led the Magic with 19 points, 7 assists, but shot just 8 of 19 from the field. J.J. Redick started out the game on fire, scoring 11 first-quarter points on 4 of 6 shooting, but didn't score again until the fourth quarter and wound up with 15 points. Glen Davis added a double-double of 12 points, 10 rebounds along with 3 steals. Jason Richardson and Ryan Anderson combined to shoot 6 of 26 from the field for just 17 points. Quentin Richardson and Ish Smith were effective off the bench, with Q-Rich scoring 14 points on 5 of 8 shooting. Smith had his second consecutive good game, scoring 8 points along with 5 rebounds and 3 assists.

The story of the game was how well the Wizards did in the low post and in the paint, as they outscored the Magic 46-34 in the painted area with the Magic missing Howard, who is resting his sore back.The backcourt tandem of John Wall and Jordan Crawford was effective also, combining for 36 points on 15 of 28 shooting along with 11 assists, with Washington shooting 50% for the game.

The Magic started out the game out well, as they enjoyed their largest lead of the game at 29-16 with 1:10 remaining in the opening quarter after a Nelson three-pointer, and led 29-18 after one with Redick's 11 points leading the way. The Magic shot 11 of 24 (45.8%) in the opening frame.

The Magic were ice-cold in the second quarter, missing 12 of their first 13 shots as Washington cut their deficit to 32-27 after a Shelvin Mack free throw with 8 minutes left in the first half. The Magic would go on to shoot just 5 of 24 (20.8%) for the quarter, as Wall scored 5 points in a row late to help the Wizards take a 41-39 lead, before a Davis layup tied the score at 41 at the half. Washington outscored the Magic 23-12 in the second, shooting 9 of 17 (52.9%).

The Magic hit another dry spell in the third quarter, missing eight consecutive shots as the Wizards took a 60-55 lead, with Crawford scoring 10 of his points in the third. The Magic scored the final six points of the quarter, as they took back the lead 61-60 going into the fourth quarter after Anderson's two free throws. Anderson scored all seven of his points in the third.

The game stood tied at 69-69 with 8:24 remaining after a J-Rich three pointer, but from that point on the Wizards gradually pulled away after a three-pointer by Cartier Martin gave the Wizards the lead for good at 72-69. Washington outscored the Magic 33-24 in the final frame, as the Magic could not get any key defensive stops that were needed to keep the game close. The Wizards shot 13 of 20 (65%) in the final period, and 5 of 6 on free throws to put the game away.

What may prove to be significant in this game for the Magic is the emergence of Ish Smith as backup point guard, as Chris Duhon did not see any game action after being activated for the game following his one-game suspension. Smith's quick pace and energy gives the Magic offense another dimension they do not have when Duhon plays.

Other game notes:

-Cartier Martin and James Singleton, both on 10-day contracts, each scored 12 points off the Wizards' bench.

-Earl Clark was scoreless in 15 minutes off the Magic bench, but grabbed 6 rebounds along with 3 blocks.

-Even though the Magic outscored the Wizards 33-9 on three point shots, the Wizards outscored the Magic 72-46 on two-point shots.