The Magic hobbled into Philadelphia on Saturday night losers of 5 consecutive games and missing 2 starters and with a banged up superstar center. After starting hot and establishing a 10 point lead, the team folded during the second quarter and trailed 45-37 at the half.
The Magic came out in the 2nd half determined to not see a L6 in the W/L column, and ultimately gutted out an 88-82 victory.
“I’m just so thrilled right now to win a game. It seems like its been a while, it seems like everything we have done the past week has been scrutinized and there has been a lot of turmoil. We beat a playoff team on the road tonight, it wasnt an easy win, we had to gut it, and I’m really proud of this group.” – J.J. Redick after the game.
Redick scored 11 of his 19 points in the 4th quarter. Big Baby led the team in scoring, getting the start for the injured Ryan Anderson, with 23 points and also grabbed 12 rebounds.
Leading 24-14 in the 1st quarter, the Magic fell apart completely. Philly went on a 24-4 run during the first half over an 8 minute span between the 1st and 2nd quarters. The Magic would score just 13 points in the 2nd quarter and shot just 31% from the field in the first half.
In the second half, the Magic were able to find their offensive flow again and limited Philly’s offense with more effort-filled defense. Not a single starter for the 76ers scored in double figures.
Dwight Howard, despite being obviously limited and effected by an ailing back, still managed to put up his 9th 20/20 game of the season and finished with 20 points, 22 rebounds (9 offensive) and 6 assists. Dwight was receiving treatment at nearly every stopped of play and still managed to play 44 minutes into the game. 11 points and 8 rebounds came in the 4th quarter. #thecloser
It’s been a crazy week for Orlando, but a win can do wonders to refocus a team. The goal now becomes to carry over the spirit that stems from a victory and to maintain the effort they put forth in the second half.
“I told them, that’s the best one of the entire season.” – Stan Van Gundy on the win.
“I don’t remember us really just digging down and gutting one out this entire year. We’ve played well and we’ve played hard, but this one, I just feel like our guys intensity and effort… Our guys fought extremely hard and I’m really proud of them.” -SVG