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Magic Blast Heat Behind Record Setting Three Point Performance

2012 February 8
by Brian Serra

After coming off a hard-fought loss at home on Monday night, the Orlando Magic bounced back in style by easily handling the Miami Heat 102 to 89. After pulling out to an early 7-0 lead, the Magic would never trail on the night.

The Magic which led by as many as 19 points early in the 4th quarter and were able to temper a late Miami run which briefly cut the lead to 9 with 3:59 remaining. Normally at the point where Orlando would choke away the lead, the Magic pulled away behind a big Jameer Nelson three-pointer.

Stan Van Gundy on holding the lead, “I thought we did a good job of gathering ourselves. We held our composure. Nobody seemed the least bit worried. We just kept making plays and knocked down a couple of big shots and we were right there. I thought we held our composure very very well.”

A huge first half by Ryan Anderson saw the big man pour in 24 points before finishing the night with 27 and 11 rebounds. While his scoring was impressive, his 7 offensive rebounds are what made the most impact on the game. The Magic out-rebounded the Heat by 10 boards tonight and grabbed 8 more offensive rebounds. Those extra offensive rebounds allowed the Magic to outscore Miami 23-9 in second chance points.

Dwight Howard had another monster night scoring 25 points and grabbing 24 rebounds. It’s funny that on a night when Dwight grabs 24 rebounds, I led with Ryan Anderson’s 11 boards. It just goes to show how easy it is to take for granted the impact that Dwight can have when he is 100% dialed in. His effort tonight was simply monstrous.

Speaking of monstrous, how about all those three point attempts by Orlando? AMIRITE? Orlando attempted a franchise record 42 three pointers on the night which broke a franchise record for most threes attempted. The team made 17 of those threes to finish at 40.5% on the night. While the high number of attempts may seem shocking, keep in mind that the majority of them actually weren’t bad shots. With Dwight playing so well down low, the spacing opened up on the outside.

For the mighty Heat, they just couldn’t get things going. The offense seemed to stall far too much and they just misssed shots they normally make. Dwayne Wade had an excellent night shooting 15-24 for 33 points but LeBron finished the night shooting just 5-15 for 17 points. Stan Van Gundy joked after the game that he had a game plan for both guys, and one just missed more shots.

Big Baby Davis has previously challenged the Magic to play harder late in games and they definitely got that tonight.

Davis on the team finishing and keeping it’s composure, “That’s what it’s about. Taking the punch and keep fighting and that’s what we did and we knew they were going to make that run, they’re a great team. But we just made sure that we didn’t buckle and didn’t get out of control and we executed until the end.”

News, notes, tidbits, superlatives, cheers and jeers from tonight’s game:

  • Dwight Howard secured his 38th career 20-20 game. The next closest active player is Kevin Garnett with 27. It was also his 6th of the season which is more than the rest of the NBA combined.
  • The Heat scored just 11 points in the 3rd quarter which is the lowest of the James/Wade/Bosh era.
  • Super Mario Chalmers sat out tonight with a sprained left hand. Norris Cole started in his place and scored 9 points in 31 minutes.
  • Ryan Anderson was asked after the game if he had ever practiced taking balls off a rack to simulate a three point contest (it is expected that he will receive an invite during All-Star weekend to participate in the 3-point shootout). His response was perfect, “Never. The only time I’ve done that is for Snoggle.”
  • Rookie DeAndre Liggins may not have played tonight (or this season), but that doesn’t mean that Stan Van Gundy isn’t pleased from what he has seen from him. As of 7pm yesterday, Liggins contract became guaranteed for the remainder of the season. Stan pointed out that despite having been here only 2 months he has already gained 15 pounds of muscle. The key for Liggins will be to just gain experience. At the moment he is buried on the bench, but keeping him around all season, the Magic are clearly pleased with the off-court development they’ve seen.

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The Magic are back in action on Friday night at home against the Atlanta Hawks. It will be the first time they have faced off since the dreaded playoff ouster last season.

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