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Dwight Howard Dominates Bobcats to Propel Magic to Victory

2011 December 30
by Brian Serra

In Orlando’s final game of 2011, the Magic crushed the Charlotte Bobcats 100-79 to earn their 3rd straight win. With a dominating performance from Dwight Howard and a balanced scoring attack, the Magic managed to get out to an early 11-0 lead that they would never relinquish.

The untraded Dwight Howard had a well-rounded performance Friday night putting up 20 points, 24 rebounds, 4 assists (one blind!) and 4 blocks. The Bobcats were simply no match for Dwight and at the end of the game Dwight was still pulling rebounds while literally barely breaking a sweat.

Ryan Anderson led the team in scoring with 23 points while shooting 5-12 from 3-point distance. Ryan also pulled in 8 rebounds with 4 of those being offensive, leading to additional possessions.

It was encouraging to see five players scoring in double figures and even more encouraging to see the team taking the ball to the basket. The Magic scored 44 points in the paint with 30 of those points coming in the first half. Those points came from Jason Richardson, Redick, Anderson and Turkoglu all taking the ball to the basket.

The best sign of the night? A gleeful Stan Van Gundy called tonight’s win “the best one yet” in his post game comments and pointed out that the team has shown progress in every game so far.

More notes, news and tidbits from tonight’s action:

  • Jameer Nelson did not play in tonight’s game after experiencing neck spasms.  Chris Duhon started the game and did an adequate job serving as the floor general. Larry Hughes backed up Duhon and seemed to really struggle initiating the offense in his 16 minutes on the court. Both guys still take too long to get the offense initated.
  • The Magic for the 3rd straight game have started the night by going to Hedo and Jason Richardson in the post.  It’s important to get those guys involved early to keep them fully engaged and involved in the offense. Hedo had 15 points tonight and J-Rich had 16. Both maintained aggression throughout the night.
  • It can not be stated enough how important it is for Dwight to make good decisions when the offense is run through him. Since the first game in OKC, he has done just that. He has been passing well out of the double team (at the right time) and made his move at the right time. Those little things go a long way in not only getting easier shots for him, but also for his teammates.
  • Tonight was the 33rd 20-20 game of Dwight’s career.
  • Charlotte, which somehow hung with and almost beat Miami a few days ago, struggled mightily to do anything tonight. They were led in scoring by Corey Maggette who had 20 points. Rookie Kemba Walker had 12 points off the bench.
  • Another area where the Magic have been excelling in the mini win streak is in limiting turnovers. The team had only 11 turnovers tonight while only having 13 and 11 in the previous two wins. They had 18 in their loss to OKC and averaged 14.4 per game last season.
  • The sixty win dream remains alive as we head into 2012.

The Magic are back in action on Sunday evening at home against the Toronto Raptors. Game time is set for 6pm and tickets are still available from as low as $20.

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