The Orlando Magic took care of business Thursday night, easily winning their nationally televised game against the Steve Nash-less Phoenix Suns, 105-89. Without the Canadian Dream, who was out with something termed “pelvic instability”, the Suns were no match for Dwight Howard and the Magic. Dwight led the Magic in scoring with 20 points and a total of six Magic players scored in double figures. There is probably very little that can be taken from this game as on top of being without Steve Nash, the Suns were coming off a night where they were absolutely destroyed by the Miami Heat. Jameer Nelson tallied his best game of the young season tonight scoring 15 points and most importantly, dishing out 12 assists. Former Magic player Hedo Turkoglu, did not fare as well. Hedo finished the game with more turnovers than points scored, 3 to 2, and did not make a single shot from the field (0-8). Hedo said before the game that he expected to receive lots of boos from the Magic fans, but he actually received more cheers than boos during pre-game introductions and after his performance, the more likely response next game towards Turk will be apathy.
More thoughts and tidbits from tonight’s game after the jump:
- Tonight was Dwight Howard’s 500th career NBA game, which already ranks him 4th all time in Magic history. It was also Dwight’s son Braylon’s third birthday too and the Magic gave Braylon a special jumbotron shout out during the 3rd quarter. They then cut to a beaming Papa who was smiling ear-to-ear.
- Every Magic player that played tonight scored for the Magic, including Malik Allen who got his first game action of the year. The only player that dressed and didn’t play was Jason Williams.
- While it’s impressive that Jameer Nelson had a double-double and had 12 assists, the more impressive stat was that Jameer had zero turnovers. The rest of the team wasn’t as lucky as they finished with 17 turnovers; although 7 of those came in the sloppy 4th quarter.
- Grant Hill led the Suns in scoring tonight with 21 points. Hill was plastered with boos in both pre-game intro’s and every time he touched the ball in the first quarter. Stan Van Gundy was asked after the game when he thought Grant would stop being booed and he replied with, “If Grant plays 10-12 more years, then the fans here may stop booing him”. Seriously Magic fans, it’s over with. Let it go.
- Rashard Lewis and Quentin Richardson both had improved shooting nights and they each drove the ball to the basket on several occasions and made strong cuts that resulted in easy baskets. Rashard even dunked the ball HARD two different times. I am thinking of starting a facebook petition to get Rashard in the dunk contest. Everyone would watch that, right?
- Sadly, there is very little to take from this game despite the blowout. Stan’s normal critical post game press conference lasted probably less than one minute before he took forced questions from the media. The biggest take away is that the Magic came out with great energy and intensity for the first half and started the same way in the 3rd. They played awful in the 4th quarter but by that point, they couldn’t have given away the game if they tried.
The Magic are back in action Saturday night in Indiana against the Pacers. Game time is set for 7pm and will be televised locally on FSN Florida.