Magic Crush Pacers Behind Big Nights from Howard and Redick
It was a dreary, rainy day in Central Florida but that didn’t stop the Orlando Magic from winning Sunday night over the Indiana Pacers 107-94. It was the 4th game between the two teams in a little over a month, with the Magic winning the season series 3-1.
Dwight Howard had monster game for the Magic with 30 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals. J.J. Redick got the start for the injured Jason Richardson and had a great night with 18 points and 9 assists.
The pick-and-roll game with Redick and Howard was working beautifully early, and Van Gundy rode it all night. SVG, “9 assists and 0 turnovers, doesn’t get better than that.”
The Magic led by 23 in the second quarter before Indiana closed the half on a 12-0 run to cut the halftime deficit to just 11. Indiana ratcheted up their intensity level and the Magic responded with nothing more than embarrassingly bad body language. Orlando came up in the second half with a renewed commitment to winning and would lead by 25 points entering the 4th quarter.
“We did a nice job gathering ourselves at the end of the half and took care of business in the 3rd quarter.” – SVG
The largest lead of the night for Orlando was 29 and despite the late second quarter run, Indiana was never really in the game.
It was an encouraging effort for the Magic coming off their big win against the Bulls on Thursday. Coming off two days of rest, they came out with the type of energy they have lacked at times this season and it obviously made a difference.
Closing quote from Stan Van Gundy offers hope, “These last two games have been some of the better we’ve played all year. Let’s hope it’s a trend.”
More news, notes, analysis and tidbits:
- With the Magic up by 20+ and in control in the 4th quarter, the Magic were rarely able to empty their bench on a victory. Ish Smith, DeAndre Liggins and Daniel Orton all got at least 3 minutes of game action. Orton earned his first career points on a late 4th quarter dunk. Congrats to Daniel who has come along way to be able to make it to the court. Well deserved!
- J.J. Redick’s 9 assists were a career high. Even more impressive was the +37 point differential for Redick on the night. As dominant as Dwight was, Redick was the MVP of the night.
- Turnovers have been a problem all season for Orlando but tonight they took care of the ball. They had 14 on the night, but 8 of those came in the 2nd quarter.
- Chris Duhon continues to shoot the ball well. He nailed three first half 3-pointers and got perhaps his loudest ovation of his brief Magic career. When I asked him after the game if he notices the swing in the fans response to him, he cited playing at Duke as being used to dealing with any potential boos.
- Glen “Big Baby” Davis now has the Justin Bieber song, Baby, play for him every time he makes a shot. When he came in from the showers tonight he was singing the song at the top of his lungs. I asked him if he is going to use that as motivation to make shots now and responded, “hell yeah!”. It could be Bieber Fever in Orlando soon…
- Don’t forget to sign up for the Magic Basketball Online Bracket Challenge!
The Magic have Monday off before facing off against LeBron, Wade and the Heat on Tuesday at the Amway Center.