Another second-half meltdown by Magic in loss to Nets
GHill and KDooling sat this one out for the Magic. The Magic were led by HTurkoglu with 24 pts on 9 of 14 shooting; J.J. Redick off the bench with a career-high 13 pts (3 of 4 3 pt FG); TDiener 11 pts; JNelson 11 pts; and CArroyo 10 pts, 5 asts. NJ was led by Vince Carter with 27 pts; Richard Jefferson 17 pts; reserve Eddie House 17 pts (15 pts in the fourth quarter); and Jason Kidd 16 pts, 7 asts. The Magic's DHoward was held to a season-low 1 pt on 0 of 6 shooting and fouled out in just 25 minutes.
NJ (33 of 78, 42.3%) outscored the Magic (32 of 70, 45.7%) from the field 76-73. NJ was 10 of 27 from 3 pt range, while the Magic were 9 of 17. NJ (25 of 32) had the edge at the FT line over the Magic (21 of 32). The Magic did outrebound NJ 44-42. TOs hurt the Magic again with 18, while NJ had only 10. NJ also had a much better AST/TO ratio of 25-10, while the Magic were at 18/18. The Magic bench did well, outscoring the NJ bench 48-37.
This is the mathematical midpoint of the season for the Magic. With a 22-19 record, if they maintain that pace, they will finish 44-38, still good enough for around a 6th seed and a playoff berth. Despite the second-half collapse to NJ, many positives came out of the game... the bench, specifically Redick, Diener, and Arroyo all had solid games. Turkoglu snapped out of his mini-slump and had a solid game. No one could have predicted that DHoward would score just 1 pt, however. Magic have a day of rest then travel to CLE MON night to begin the second half of the season.