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Anderson and Redick Roll Orlando to “Best Win Of the Year” in New York

2012 January 16
by Brian Serra

It may have been a chilly 33 degrees outside of Madison Square Garden, but that surely didn’t cool off the Orlando Magic shooters who rode a huge 4th quarter and a career high from Ryan Anderson to a 102-93 road victory. Ryan dropped in 7 three pointers on the afternoon and finished with a fresh career high of 30 points.

Orlando grinded out the first three quarters, which saw the team getting virtually no production from Dwight Howard and the team seemed a step slow on both sides of the court. Orlando trailed at the half by six points and their star player had just 2 points and 4 rebounds. Dwight would finish with only 8 points and 10 rebounds on the night as he continues to struggle at the free throw line (2-9).

Luckily, even with little offensive production from Dwight Howard, the other Magic players stepped up in a major way. The turning point came with 5:31 left in the game and the Magic trailing 85-84 when Hedo Turkoglu hit an off balanced, step back bank shot three pointer to give the Magic the lead. From that point on the Magic shooters stayed hot and the team closed the game out with a strong zone defense that New York struggled to adjust to.

Six points from J.J. Redick in the last 3 minutes of the game would seal the 9th win of the season for Orlando. A win that Stan Van Gundy called “the best of the year” after the game.

More news and notes from today’s game:

  • Redick, who got his first start of the season, certainly did not let me down after I wrote earlier today that he deserved the permanent starting job. J.J. finished the game with 21 points in 37 minutes and carried the team early on with 11 1st quarter points when the rest of the team scoring only 6 points in the quarter.
  • The zone defense that the Magic switched to with about six minutes remaining was a rare strategy for Stan Van Gundy to use.  In his 524 career games as a head coach, he estimated that he has used it for maybe 18-20 minutes out of that entire time (about .0008%).  Stan pointed out the main reason for going to the zone was that “Carmelo was scaring the hell out of me”. Tell it like it is.
  • Carmelo finished the game with 33 points but took 27 shots to get there.  He impressively shot 14-16 from the free throw line, but 12 of those attempts came in the first half.  Melo’s decision to shoot jumpers rather than attack the basket, certainly helped the Magic remain in the game. To be fair though, Carmelo did have a sore ankle and wrist.
  • With Jason Richardson sitting out, SVG still managed to use 10 players on the evening. That decision was made easier because of foul trouble, but it’s encouraging to see Stan look down the bench for a spark when necessary.
  • Another encouraging sign for Orlando was Stan’s positivity after the win. He was seen high fiving all his guys on the bench as the final seconds ticked away and spoke of the great team resolve after the game. Stan Van Gundy, “The one things our guys have had all year is pretty good resolve.” He further elaborated on that point by saying how nobody got down on themselves on the bench even calling the attitude “outstanding”.

The Magic will try to take that positive frame of mind and press forward tomorrow evening back at home against the Charlotte Bobcats. Tickets are still available from as low as $10.

Final thought of the day: SNOGGLE CITY SON!

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