The Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards played a fairly competitive game early on. The Magic would take a double-digit lead in the second quarter but let it slip away before dominating late in the third quarter en route to a 121-94 victory over the Washington Wizards. Orlando was lead by Dwight Howard’s 17 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. All 12 players played in the game and each of them scored at least four points. Nick Young lead the Wizards with 21 points.
Orlando’s offense was virtually unstoppable. They shot an incredible effective field goal percentage of 66.4%, going 44-of-76 from the field (57.9%) and 13-of-22 from beyond the arc (59.1%). They were also very good from the free throw line (20-of-24, 83.3%). Orlando’s bench played very well and was responsible for a majority of the damage from beyond the arc. The bench combined to shoot 10-of-13 (77%) from downtown and scored 65 points. Three players – J.J. Redick 16, Mickael Pietrus 15, and Ryan Anderson 11 – scored in double figures, while every player scored at least four points.
Orlando didn’t play all that well in the first half. In fact, the game was very close – the Magic trailed by as many as six in the first quarter and had a 13-point lead cut to six at the end of the first half.
The Magic didn’t really get rolling until the 3:30 mark in the third quarter when they quickly turned a seven-point advantage into an 84-65 lead at the end of third quarter. The 16-4 run was capped by an incredible last two seconds. Jason Williams hit a three-pointer with 2.0 seconds to go in the quarter. Matt Barnes stole the ensuing inbounds pass and found Williams again. He buried another trey to push Orlando’s lead to 84-65.
Orlando’s offensive outburst continued in fourth quarter and was highlighted by some great plays, including a Vince Carter slam in which he took off from a pretty good distance, and two alley-oop slams by Marcin Gortat.
“I thought the second half we played really well,” Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy told reporters following the game. “Sort of on cruise control, not with a lot of energy and intensity in the first half, much better in the second half.”
Van Gundy, as expected, was quite unhappy with his team’s defense. They allowed the Wizards to shoot 50.0% from the field and let Washington’s wing players – Nick Young 21 points, Mike Miller 16, and Cartier Martin 9, do some damage. Miller also added nine points and five assists.
“We couldn’t stop them, which is a concern to see 50 percent down there again,” Van Gundy added. You know, three times in the last five games, that concerns me.”
Orlando did hold Washington’s leading scorer over the last two months, Andray Blatche, to just 13 points on 5-of-19 shooting but that was not enough for Van Gundy.
“Well we did a good job keeping the ball out of the paint,” Van Gundy said. “We couldn’t guard their wing players tonight. If you look at Young, Miller, Cartier Martin, they’re 19-of-30 from the floor.”
Van Gundy did admit he was pleased with their defense of Blatche.
“We did do a very good job on Blatche. I thought our big guys, all of them, did a good job,” Van Gundy told the media. “Rashard, Ryan, Dwight, and Marcin, I thought they did a good job of locking in on him, made the night tough on him.”
- Orlando is now 21-0 when they shoot over 50 percent from the floor.
- Seven players – Howard 17, Redick 16, Pietrus 15, Matt Barnes 11, Anderson 11, Vince Carter 10 and Rashard Lewis 10 – scored in double figures.
- It was the seventh time Orlando scored over 120 points in a game this season and Orlando is 7-0 in those games.
- Dwight Howard now has 60 double-doubles.
- Howard blocked three shots in a game for the 160th time in his career.
Next Up: The Magic will host the New York Knicks on Friday night.
Final Thought: The Magic took care of business against a weak team.
(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger and a contributor at NFL Mocks and Sir Charles In Charge. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Twitter to follow him daily and you can get the HTD app here).