Career Nights for Redick & E’Twaun Not Enough Against Pistons
Orlando continues to find the zaniest ways of coming up short at the end of ball games. Tonight’s 104-102 defeat to Detroit couldn’t have been more dramatically appalling. To have four tip-in attempts in the final seven seconds to send the game to overtime and to not convert any of them is amazing to watch. JJ Redick and E’Twaun Moore each tied their career-highs. 31 points for Redick behind eight 3-pointers and 18 for Moore as the two guards picked up the slack for Arron Afflalo who sat the entire fourth quarter with a left calf strain. Brandon Knight was quite the opportunist himself as the sophomore posted a career high of his own with 31 points.
Redick is desperate to finally get into the All-Star Weekend 3-point shooting contest. His 3-point percentage was 39.8% entering Sunday night and would leave Amway Center with it at 41.3%. ‘Redickulous’ went off on a 5-for-5 tear from long range early. The most 3-pointers Redick had previously ever made in an NBA game was six. JJ scored Orlando’s first 16 of 18 points in the game before Vaughn gave him an early rest.
Greg Monroe on Orlando: “They always play hard. JJ Redick was on fire obviously. Big Baby picked up in the second half. When you have two guys like those guys going, and Jameer who is always solid at the point guard position, they are a good underrated team.”
Baby finished the night with 17 points, 12 rebounds and 4 assists. His spinning lay-up following an Orlando 33-point third period handed Orlando one of the game’s 20 lead changes. The grind-it-out, back-and-forth contest was on from there and it would last all the way to the grueling tip-a-thon finish. Big Baby and Vucevic’s (12 points, 17 rebounds) double-double efforts went wasted. So did the Magic’s valiant 38-20 points in the paint 2nd half advantage.
Glen Davis on Redick: “JJ carried us in the first half. If I played a little bit in the first half like I did in the second half, it would have been game.”
The Magic fell to 3-15 on the season in games that end within 6 points or less. Overall, the team has lost 16 of their last 18 games.
It’s the most intriguing 16 out of 18 skid you may ever see in basketball. You hate to look at the standings the way this 14-29 Magic team has struggled, and considering Jacque Vaughn’s men will now travel for a 5-game road trip, but Orlando is in the hunt still (somehow) with the 8th-seeded Boston Celtics losing Rajon Rondo to an ACL tear. The Magic begin their trek in Brooklyn on Monday.
Adam Papageorgiou runs Orlando Magic Greek and is a proud MBO contributor.