It’s been almost 16 years since the Orlando Magic had a player hit the 50-mark. On this day a decade ago however, Vince Carter came close.
Acquired in the offseason from the New Jersey Nets, the Daytona native would play less than 100 games for the Magic. Carter was productive however, especially on this day 10 years ago.
The New Orleans Hornets were 27-24 as they arrived at Amway Arena for a nationally-televised showdown with the 34-17 Orlando Magic on Feb. 8, 2010. For most of the night, New Orleans seemed in control, but Carter’s big scoring night spurred a 123-117 Orlando victory.
Carter would finish the night with 48 points on 19-for-27 shooting. That included a 6 of 10 night from beyond the three-point arc.
The Magic trailed 70-55 at halftime, by as many 17 in the second half and by 11 in the fourth quarter, but Carter kept his team afloat. During a 13-2 run that drew the Magic even midway through the final period, Carter scored eight points and knocked down a pair of triples.
34 of Carter’s points came after halftime, but it was a pair of Dwight Howard free throws with less than four minutes to play to put the Magic ahead for good. The next 10 Magic points, including a three-pointer and a three-point play, came from Carter.
With 26 seconds remaining, New Orleans’ Peja Stojakovic knocked down a trey to cut the Magic lead to 120-117. Rashard Lewis made three free throws over the next two Orlando possessions to seal the victory.
In addition to Carter’s big night, Howard finished with 25 points and 12 rebounds in the win. Lewis added 18 points on 5-for-9 shooting for a Magic team that shot 54 percent for the evening.
Led by Stojakovic’s 29 points and nine rebounds, New Orleans shot 52 percent from the field and 9-for-18 from deep. Darren Collison and David West each scored 27 points for the Hornets in the loss.
The 48 points would be just three shy of a career-high for Carter. Despite the NBA being a more fast-paced game with more shots, no Magic has player has scored as many since. Carter’s memorable night in Magic pinstripes came on this day 10 years ago.