Another day, another loss for Magic
Five players scored in double figures for the Magic, led by GHill with 19 pts, DHoward (15 pts 11 rebs), CArroyo (12 pts), JNelson (10 pts 10 assists) and TBattie (10 pts). Three players scored over 20 pts for DEN, led by Carmelo Anthony (24 pts), Reuben Patterson (21 pts), and super-sub Earl Boykins, who scored 21 pts off the bench. I was disappointed to see Darko play only 20 minutes (7 pts 3 blocks). The only thing I can think of as to why he's not playing more is maybe his conditioning isn't quite good enough yet to play 30-35 minutes a game. Otherwise, there's no excuse as to why Battie (28 minutes) should see more playing time than Darko.
Not a good game for the Magic stat-wise. DEN outplayed the Magic in virtually every area. They outscored the Magic from the field 98-71 on 56.5% FG shooting. The Magic shot 46.7%. DEN dominated the boards 41-26. Once again, the Magic opponent had a superb assist-to-turnover ratio: 31 assists for DEN to just 15 TOs, while the Magic's ratio was only 23-17. 23 assists is good, but 17 TOs is too many. The only thing the Magic did well was FTs, outscoring DEN 23-12 from the line on 74.2% shooting. Even our bench was outscored by the DEN bench 40-33.
The five game road trip ends at Utah on Monday, and this current brutal stretch of 22 road games out of 33 overall will finally be over, thank goodness.