The Orlando Magic used one of their best offensive outputs of the season to torch the league’s second best defense en route to a 113-100 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers Monday night.
Ryan Anderson had a monster game, leading the Magic with 26 points and 16 rebounds while Jrue Holiday paced the 76ers with 18 points and eight assists.
Orlando’s offense was simply excellent from start to finish. The Magic scored 113 points, shot 53.3% from the field, hit 61.1% of their three-pointers, didn’t miss a free throw, posted an effective field goal percentage of 59.4% and only turned the ball over 11 times. After the game, Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy was glowing when talking about his team’s effort.
“That was just a tremendous team effort,” said Van Gundy. “It’s about a team and that’s what we’ve been the last two nights as a team.”
Of course, the team had some issues on the defensive end – Philadelphia shot 50.0% from the field and from beyond the arc themselves, but when you’re down two starts and your sixth man and are playing a playoff team on the second night of a back-to-back, it’s hard to complain.
“It (our energy) was great,” Van Gundy explained. “What you have purity and you’re just going out to play hard and play together and play together and try to win, energy’s a lot easier than when it becomes about individual things.”
Van Gundy explained that Magic were able to spread the ball better as they ran more pick-and-rolls rather than posting up. He went to explain that with the Magic not trying to force the ball into the post, their turnover numbers are down.
Ryan Anderson, who played very well in the two games he’s played against the 76ers this year, was the focus of the Philadelphia defense. Philadelphia Head Coach Doug Collins came in with a plan to used Thaddeus Young on Anderson, taking usual starting Center Spencer Hawes out of the lineup. Collins wanted to play small while using the extremely athletic Young to keep Anderson off the three-point line. That strategy worked as Anderson only attempted two three-pointers (making both). Instead, Anderson fought down low and had one of the most impressive games of his career.
“He was fabulous, he competed unbelievably,” Van Gundy said. “Considering what we were facing, it was probably his best game of the year.”
Not only did Anderson take his game inside and wind up scoring 26 points, while shooting 9-of-14 from two-point range, but he grabbed 16 rebounds, eight offensive and eight defensive.
“He just went inside and fought and competed hard,” Van Gundy said.
- Earl Clark also had a big game for the Magic, registering the first double-double of his career with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Van Gundy credited Clark’s improvement to him simply calming down and not “rushing or forcing plays.”
- Jason Richardson had a very efficient game, scoring 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting.
- Daniel Orton contributed six points and six rebounds in under 24 minutes of action.
- Jameer Nelson had six turnovers and started the game just 1-of-7 from the field, but he rebounded, hitting six of his next 11 shots and dishing out 13 assists.
- Quentin Richardson provided a nice spark, scoring 13 points off of the bench. At one point in the first, he had a breakaway dunk sandwiched in between two three-pointers.
- Chris Duhon (three points, three assists) again played instead of Ish Smith.
Next Up: The Magic will be in Boston to take on the Celtics Wednesday night.
Final Thought: Van Gundy summed it up well, saying “If you’re a Magic fan that didn’t enjoy tonight, I don’t understand that.”
(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN Florida’s Magic Insider (http://ESPNFlorida.com) and is the co-host of the ESPNFlorida.com Insiders Show Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him onTwitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here)
Topics: Andre Iguodala, Chris Duhon, Doug Collins, Dwight Howard, Elton Brand, Glen Davis, Hedo Turkoglu, J.j. Redick, Jameer Nelson, Jason Richardson, Jodie Meeks, Jrue Holiday, Larry Hughes, Lou Williams, Orlando Magic, Otis Smith, Philadelphia 76ers, Quentin Richardson, Ryan Anderson, Spencer Hawes, Stan Van Gundy, Thaddeus Young, Tony Battie, Von Wafer