Orlando Magic Blog

Group Blog talking about the NBA 2009 Eastern Conference Champions. Due to the amazing success of the 2009 playoff run comments are now frequently deleted to kill offensive comments, incoherence, or asininity. Comments can no longer be anonymous and require either a Blogger or OpenID account.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Bench plays strong in Magic win over IND

In a turnover-filled, foul-filled game that lasted nearly 3 hours, the Magic (34-39, 22-14 home) were able to outlast IND (31-41, 11-25 away) 95-87, thanks to 37 pts from the Magic reserves. This was IND's 17th loss in 19 games, and the Magic's 5th win in 8 games.

The Magic were led by GHill with 22 pts on 14 of 16 FTs; TAriza off the bench 17 pts on 6 of 7 FGs and 4 steals; DHoward 10 pts, 8 rebs, 5 blocks but with 7 TOs; HTurkoglu 10 pts, 8 rebs; TBattie 9 pts, 10 rebs, CArroyo off the bench with 8 pts in just 12 minutes, and JRedick also off the bench added 7 pts. IND was led by Jamaal Tinsley with 27 pts, 10 rebs; and Danny Granger added 13 pts. Jermaine O'Neal, playing with various injuries, struggled, shooting just 4 of 18 for 10 pts, along with 8 TOs.

IND (32 of 76, 42.1%) actually outscored the Magic (29 of 61, 47.5%) from the field 68-60. IND hit on 4 of 16 3 pt FGs, while the Magic were 2 of 7 from long range. The Magic (35 of 45) dominated from the FT line over IND (19 of 24). The Magic won the rebounding battle 43-33. Both teams had poor AST/TO ratios, with the Magic ratio at 16/24, and the IND ratio of 12/22. The Magic bench was a big factor, outscoring the IND bench 37-22.

With NJ losing to DET, the Magic are now back in the 7th spot, 1/2 game ahead of NJ. With IND and NY losing, the Magic are 2 1/2 games ahead of both teams in the standings. Magic have a chance to continue to solidify a playoff berth SUN, hosting another sub-.500 team, MIN.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Pacers/Magic preview

The Magic (33-39, 21-14 home, 8th East) will try to bounce back from a disappointing 2 OT loss at BOS as they host struggling IND (31-40, 11-24 away, 9th East) in a nationally televised game tonight. The Pacers have lost 16 of their last 18 games, and 10 games in a row on the road. They are coming off a 118-84 loss to NJ WED. Rookie Shawne Williams led the Pacers with 19 pts. F/C Jermaine O'Neal is suffering from knee and ankle injuries, and is questionable tonight.

IND is led in scoring by O'Neal, who averages 20 ppg, 9.9 rebs; G/F Mike Dunleavy Jr. 13.6 ppg; F Danny Granger 13.5 ppg; G Jamaal Tinsley 12.9 ppg, 6.9 asts; and F/C Troy Murphy 10.8 ppg, 6.9 rebs. Former Magic G Darrell Armstrong is averaging 5.3 ppg in 15 min per game. IND averages 95.2 ppg, while allowing 97.6 ppg. The Magic average 93.8 ppg, while allowing 94.3 ppg.

The Pacers have beaten the Magic 5 of the last 6 meetings, but lost earlier this season in ORL. IND is 1 1/2 games behind the Magic for the final playoff spot. The Magic is a 7 pt favorite (www.pinnaclesports.com).

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Celtics pull away in 2 OT win over Magic

In a close, hard-fought game, the Magic (33-39, 12-25 road) were able to overcome a 10 point halftime deficit, but could not hold onto leads late in regulation and OT as BOS (22-49, 11-25 home) scored 15 of the last 19 pts in the second OT and won 105-96. The Magic were able to make only 6 of 18 FGs in the two OTs.

Four players scored in double figures for the Magic, led by HTurkoglu and GHill, each with 20 pts. However, Turkoglu scored just 2 pts in the 4th quarter and the OT periods. TBattie added 13 pts, 11 rebs; DHoward 12 pts, 14 rebs, 6 blocks. However, Howard had 6 TOs and was just 4 of 12 from the FT line. JNelson struggled mightily, scoring just 9 pts on 4 of 16 FGs. He also missed what would have been the game-winning basket late at the end of regulation and the OT. TAriza led the reserves with 7 pts in just 15 minutes. KDooling and CArroyo added 6 pts each. BOS was led by Paul Pierce with 32 pts, including the game-tying 3 pointer in the first OT. Al Jefferson added 23 pts, 13 rebs.

BOS (40 of 92, 43.5%) outscored the Magic (35 of 84, 41.7%) from the field 82-73. Both teams struggled from 3 pt range, with the Magic going 3 of 11, and BOS 2 of 12. BOS (23 of 28) had a much better FT percentage than the Magic (23 of 37). BOS had the slight edge at rebounding 46-45. Magic hurt themselves with 20 TOs, BOS had just 14. BOS also had the better AST/TO ratio of 19/14, compared to 19/20 for the Magic. The Magic bench outscored the BOS bench 22-16.

The Magic now fall to the 8th seed in the East, 1/2 game behind NJ, who beat IND. Magic are 1 1/2 games ahead of IND and NY, who surprised CLE. Magic have only a day of rest, then host IND FRI night in another key game.

Magic/Celtics preview

The Magic (33-38, 12-24 away, 7th East) will try for their first 3 game winning streak for the first time in 2 1/2 months WED night against the team with the worst record in the East, BOS (21-49, 10-25 home, 15h East). BOS has lost 6 of their last 10 games, and is coming off a 95-87 home victory MON against TOR. G/F Paul Pierce led BOS with 23 pts. F/C Al Jefferson added 22 pts.

Two of BOS's top scorers are out for the season with injuries, Wally Szczerbiak (15 ppg) and Tony Allen (11.5 ppg). BOS is led in scoring by Pierce, who averages 24.8 ppg; Jefferson 15.5 ppg, 11 rebs; G Delonte West 11.8 ppg; F Ryan Gomes 11.7 ppg, 5.7 rebs; and G/F Gerald Green 9.8 ppg. BOS averages 96.3 ppg, while allowing 99.8 ppg. The Magic average 93.7 ppg, while allowing 94.1 ppg.

BOS has the worst home record in the league, and the Magic are 2-0 so far this season against them. Doc Rivers should have the Celtics motivated to face his old team, so the Magic have to guard against a letdown here. The Magic are 2 1/2 pt favorites (www.pinnaclesports.com).

Monday, March 26, 2007

Clutch 3 pt shooting by JNelson leads Magic to win over NY

Down 86-82 with under 2 minutes remaining, the Magic (33-38, 12-24 away) received two clutch 3 pointers from JNelson, as the Magic scored 12 of the last 15 pts in their 94-89 win over NY (30-40, 18-18 home). Magic have now won 2 in a row for the first time since early FEB, and are now in sole possession of the 7th seed in the East.

Five Magic players scored in double figures, led by Nelson with 18 pts, 5 rebs; HTurkoglu also with 18 pts, 5 asts; Battie with 14 pts on 6 of 7 FGs; DHoward with 10 pts, 14 rebs, 4 steals, and 3 blocks; and JRedick who led the reserves with 12 pts (2 of 5 3 pt FGs). NY was led by Stephon Marbury with 32 pts, 5 rebs; and Eddy Curry added 17 pts. Former Magic guard Steve Francis scored just 1 pt in 12 minutes.

The Magic (37 of 71, 52.1%) outscored NY (32 of 68, 47.1%) from the field 80-66. The Magic hit on 6 of 17 3 pt FGs, while NY was just 2 of 13 from long range. NY (23 of 37) enjoyed a big edge at the FT line over the Magic (14 of 21). The Magic had a slight edge in rebounds 35-34. Despite 20 TOs, the Magic still had a better AST/TO ratio of 22/20 than the Knicks 14/15. The NY bench outscored the Magic bench 31-28.

The Magic were able to overcome a large disparity in FT attempts (16 more FT attempts for NY) and 20 TOs thanks to a 52.1 FG percentage, balanced scoring, and missed NY FTs. Magic did not panic after losing a 6 pt lead in the 4th quarter, and came out with a very encouraging win. A trip to BOS is next up on WED.

Magic/Knicks preview

Friday, March 23, 2007

Magic move into 7th in East with win over NJ

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Bosh dominates Magic again in TOR victory

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Magic/Raptors preview

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Magic stop long Heat winning streak in dominant fashion

Magic let 12 pt 3rd quarter lead slip away in loss to SAC

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Kings/Magic preview

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Magic finally show a pulse in win over UT

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Hot-shooting Bobcats send Magic to yet another loss

Struggling CHA, which had an 8 game losing streak and playing without C Emeka Okafor, found the perfect opponent to get well against as the Bobcats (23-41, 14-17 home) ran their offense to near perfection in a 119-108 win over the Magic (29-36, 10-23 away) that wasn't as close as the score might indicate, as CHA held an 18 pt lead entering the final quarter. This was the Magic's 10th loss in 12 games since after the All-Star Break.

CHA was led in scoring by reserve Derek Anderson, who poured in 24 pts along with 10 asts; Raymond Felton 21 pts, 7 asts; Gerald Wallace 20 pts, 9 asts; and Primoz Brezec, starting in place of Okafor, 17 pts. The Magic were led by DHoward with 26 pts, 11 rebs but only 10 of 19 FTs; HTurkoglu 23 pts; JNelson 17 pts, 8 rebs; and reserve TAriza 12 pts. GHill and DMilicic combined for just 16 pts on 6 of 17 FGs.

CHA (42 of 75, 56%) outscored the Magic (39 of 79, 49.4%) from the field 98-83. CHA hit on a sizzling 14 of 22 from 3 pt range, while the Magic shot just 5 of 13 from long range. The Magic (25 of 38) shot poorly on FTs compared to CHA (21 of 25). The Magic did outrebound CHA 40-27, including 14-4 on the offensive boards. CHA had an absolutely stunning AST/TO ratio of 39/13 (39 asts on 42 FGS... now that's what you call an efficient offense), while the Magic's ratio was 21/14. The CHA bench outscored the Magic bench 38-26.

Grant Hill of the Magic afterward: "The Bobcats played like they were the team fighting for the playoffs. We looked like the team that was out of it."

Magic now fall to the 10th spot in the East, trailing NJ by 1/2 game for 9th, and NY by 1 game for the 8th seed. Magic come home to play the very tough Utah Jazz WED.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Yao dominates as HOU keeps Magic struggling

Led by Yao Ming's 37 pts, 7 rebounds, and 4 blocks, HOU (39-24, 22-10 home) cruised past the Magic (29-35, 10-22 road) 103-92. The Magic now fall into the 9th spot in the East, 1/2 game behind NY and 1 game behind 7th seed IND, as the Pacers are struggling as much as the Magic. This was the Magic's 9th loss in 11 games in this difficult stretch of games since the All-Star Break.

In addition to Yao, TMac scored 19 pts with 10 asts; Juwan Howard off the bench 14 pts, and Shane Battier 12 pts, 8 rebs. The Magic were led by GHill, back in the starting lineup, with 17 pts, DHoward 16 pts, 12 rebs, DMilicic 15 pts, 9 rebs; and HTurkoglu, playing with a broken nose, 10 pts. KBogans led the reserves with 8 pts.

The Magic (38 of 84, 45.2%) actually outscored HOU (36 of 68, 52.9%) from the field 80-79. HOU shot 7 of 18 from 3 pt range, while the Magic shot 4 of 10 there. HOU (24 of 30) shot much better at the FT line than the Magic (12 of 20). HOU outrebounded the Magic 38-36, though the Magic had an 11-6 edge in offensive boards. The Magic had one of their best AST/TO ratios of the season at 23/10, while HOU also had a decent ratio of 30/17. The Magic bench outscored the HOU bench 30-24.

This game represented a better effort from the Magic than they put up against the Bulls, but they had basically no chance of winning this game, with Yao and TMac at the top of their game for HOU. Magic now have to go to CHA MON night in what promises to be another tough game but one in which the Magic almost have to win if they want to be serious about a playoff run.

2 different views of Tmac

I found this first article on Yahoo byAdrian Wojnarowski , about McGrady and next years All Star game to be held in New Orleans. The second by The Orlando Sentinels enlightened Brian Schmitz. 2 different views of the same person. Thought you would enjoy the comparason.




Magic/Rockets preview

The Magic (29-34, 10-21 road, T8th East) will try to rebound after a horrible performance in a home loss to CHI as they travel to face a tough HOU (38-24, 21-10 home, 5th West) team. HOU is coming off a solid 112-91 win against NJ on FRI. Former Magic star Tracy McGrady scored 34 pts, and C Yao, back from his injury, scored 24 pts with 13 rebs.

HOU is led in scoring by Yao, averaging 25 ppg, 9.5 rebs; TMac 24.7 ppg, 6 asts; G Rafer Alston 13.5 ppg, 5.3 asts; G Luther Head 10.8 ppg; F Shane Battier 10.6 ppg; and former Magic F Juwan Howard 10 ppg, 6 rebs. HOU averages 95.9 ppg, while allowing 90.9 ppg; ORL averages 93.7 ppg, while allowing 94.1 ppg. HOU is limiting opponents to a league-low 42.5% FG shooting.

The Magic are now tied for the 8th seed in the East with NY, thanks to the heroics of former Magic G Steve Francis SAT night against WAS. NJ trails NY and ORL by a game.

The Magic have lost 8 of their last 10 games, 17 of their last 20 road games, and 20 of their last 27 games overall. HOU has beaten the Magic 8 of the last 9 meetings, including a 97-93 win 2 weeks ago in ORL. HOU is a 8 1/2 pt favorite (www.pinnaclesports.com).

Friday, March 09, 2007

Embarrassing performance by Magic in big loss to CHI

The Magic (29-34, 19-13 home) could have made a statement THU night that they were serious about making a strong playoff push, but instead the Magic laid a huge egg as the Bulls (36-28, 12-20 road) dominated the Magic in virtually every facet of the game 100-76. The Magic have now lost 8 of 10 games since the All-Star Break.

The Magic were led by DHoward with 17 pts, 14 rebs, but made only 5 of 14 FTs; JNelson 13 pts but just 1 assist, 3 TOs; and TAriza off the bench with 10 pts. HTurkoglu, DMilicic, and KBogans combined to score just 10 pts on 4 of 15 FGs. GHill went scoreless from the field but made 7 FTs in a reserve role. CHI was led by Ben Gordon with 25 pts (4 of 5 3 pt FGs); Kirk Hinrich with 17 pts (all in the first half); and Luol Deng with 15 pts (all in the second half); Chris Duhon led the Bulls bench with 9 pts.

CHI (34 of 73, 46.6%) outscored the Magic (28 of 71, 39.4%) from the field 75-58. CHI hit on 7 of 12 3 pt FGs, while the Magic were just 2 of 9 from long range. The Magic shot a pitiful 18 of 36 from the FT line, while CHI shot 25 of 33. CHI dominated the boards 48-31. The Bulls had an AST/TO ratio of 21/20, while the Magic had a poor ratio of 12/17. The Magic bench outscored the Bulls bench 36-29.

Bulls coach Scott Skiles after the game: "We took the game to them. We were aggressive at both ends of the court and didn't let them dictate the tempo of the game."

Magic have 2 days off to try and figure out why they were so badly beaten with so much at stake before another tough game at HOU on SUN.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Bulls/Magic preview

The Magic (29-33, 19-12 home, 8th East) will try to win their second game in a row for the first time since early FEB as they host CHI (35-28, 11-20 road, 5th East) THU night in a nationally televised contest. CHI is coming off an embarrassing 103-70 loss at MIA on WED night, where they were outscored 47-17 to close the game after pulling to within three in the third quarter. G Ben Gordon led the Bulls with just 14 pts.

CHI is led in scoring by Gordon, averaging 21.4 ppg; F Luol Deng 18.8 pts, 7 rebs; G Kirk Hinrich 16 ppg, 6.1 asts; F Andres Nocioni, who is injured and out indefinitely, 14.8 ppg, G Chris Duhon 7.5 ppg; and C Ben Wallace 6.1 ppg, 10.4 rebs, 2.2 blocks. CHI averages 99 ppg while allowing 95 ppg. ORL averages and allows 94 ppg.

The Magic will try to sweep the season series from CHI. This will be the Bulls' first visit to ORL since opening night NOV 1st when the Magic romped over them 109-94 and everything looked so promising for the Magic. A little over 4 months later, a lot has changed, but a Magic win here could set the stage for perhaps solidifying a playoff spot. GHill will be a game day decision. The Magic are favored by 3 1/2 pts (www.pinnaclesports.com).

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Support for coach...

Magic president Bob Vander Weide laughed off a report by ESPN's Stephen A. Smith Monday on ESPN 1060-AM that Orlando head coach Brian Hill will be fired if the team misses the playoffs.

Vander Weide said there was no truth to the report. He said that while he's frustrated with the Magic's swoon during the past three months he has faith in Hill as the Magic's head coach.

Orlando started the season 13-4, but entered Monday's game just 15-29 during the past three months. He said he refused to believe that Hill's intensity and attention to detail were negatives, as Smith pointed out on the radio.

"After starting the season 13-4, I know Brian is feeling the pressure of turning the team around. But we think he's doing a fine job."

Contract talk...
Look for the Magic to extend center Dwight Howard this summer for five years. The contract, beginning in 2008, likely will total about $87.5 million. It could start around $14.5 million and finish at $20.5 million. Also, don't be surprised if the Magic and Milicic end up signing a short-term deal -- say, $21 million over three years.

Magic back in playoff chase with romp over Bucks

The Magic (29-33, 19-12 home) got a desperately needed win over sluggish MIL (22-39, 9-26 road) and nudged back into the 8th seed in the East with a 99-81 victory.

HTurkoglu continues his improved play as he scored a season-high 25 pts on 10 of 14 FGs; TAriza led the reserves with 20 pts, 6 rebs; and DHoward had a rather quiet 10 pts, 9 rebs. DMilicic and JNelson each added 9 pts; KDooling 8 pts; and J.J. Redick 7 pts. MIL was led by Michael Redd with 16 pts, but hit only 3 of 16 FGs, a day after he torched CHI with 52 pts; Ruben Patterson added 14 pts.

The Magic (39 of 78, 50%) outscored MIL (30 of 76, 39.5%) from the field 83-64. Magic hit on 5 of 15 3 pt FGs, while MIL was just 4 of 17 from long range. Both teams shot well from the FT line (MIL 17 of 20, ORL 16 of 17). The Magic outrebounded MIL 41-33. The Magic moved the ball much better on offense with 23 asts, compared with just 11 asts for MIL. The Magic also had the better AST/TO ratio of 23/18, while MIL's was 11/19. The MIL bench outscored the Magic bench 46-39.

Turkoglu after the game: "I knew my shot was eventually going to come around. It's just a matter of confidence and getting the shot to fall. I might have relied too much on the jump shot, but I've been mixing up the drives with jumpers, and now it seems to be clicking."

Magic try for their first two game winning streak in over a month THU with CHI coming to town.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Bucks/Magic preview

The Magic (28-33, 18-12 home, T9th East). losers of 7 of 8 games since the All-Star Break, try to get back on track against MIL (22-38, 9-25 road, 11th East) MON night in ORL. MIL is coming off a gut-wrenching 126-121 OT home loss to CHI on SUN, as MIL blew an 18 pt 4th quarter lead with over 9 minutes remaining in the fourth. Star SG Michael Redd, in his seventh game back from his left knee injury, put on a show scoring 52 pts on 18 of 32 FGs, including 8 of 13 3 pt FGs.

MIL is led in scoring by Redd at 27.2 ppg; G Mo Williams 18.3 ppg, 6.3 asts; F Ruben Patterson 14.3 ppg; G Earl Boykins, who is out injured, 14.3 ppg; G Charlie Bell 13.1 ppg; F/C Andrew Bogut 12.3 ppg, 8.8 rebs; and F Charlie Villanueva 12 ppg, 6.2 rebs. MIL is averaging 100.4 ppg, while allowing 103.7 ppg. ORL is averaging 93.9 ppg, while allowing 94.2 ppg.

The Magic have split two games so far this season against MIL, with each team winning at home. However, MIL was without Redd for both games. MIL is a much better team with Redd, as they had won 3 in a row before their tough loss to CHI SUN. With a win, Magic would pull even with NJ for the 8th seed in the East. GHill should be available for action, while TBattie may or may not suit up. No line for the game yet, but Magic should be a slight favorite.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Magic throw big scare into Mavs before losing

The Magic (28-33, 10-21 road) gave it their best shot against red hot DAL (50-9, 29-3 home). The Magic had as much as a 6 pt 4th quarter lead, the game was tied with just under 2 minutes left, and the Magic had the ball down 3 with under 30 seconds left, but DAL won their 15th in a row 103-98.

The Magic were led by DHoward with 25 pts, 10 rebs; HTurkoglu 19 pts, 7 rebs; JNelson 17 pts but 5 TOs; TAriza off the bench 11 pts; and CArroyo also off the bench 10 pts. DAL was led by Jason Terry with 29 pts (11 of 17 FGs), 15 asts; MVP candidate Dirk Nowitzki 24 pts, 9 rebs; Josh Howard 21 pts; and Devin Harris off the bench with 10 pts.

DAL (38 of 71, 53.5%) outscored the Magic (38 of 74, 51.4%) from the floor 85-80. DAL sank 9 of 21 from 3 pt range, while the Magic shot 4 of 10 there. Both teams were even at the FT line (DAL 18 of 24, ORL 18 of 25). The Magic had a slight edge rebounding 33-32. The Magic did hold down their TOs to just 10, but DAL had the superior AST/TO ratio of 32/9, while the Magic's ratio was a mediocre 14/10. The Magic bench, after getting smoked by SA the previous night, outscored the DAL bench 23-21.

The Magic trail NJ by 1 game for the 8th seed, and are now tied with the NY Knicks for the 9th spot. Magic finish this road trip 1-3, but they need more than moral victories after hanging tough with DAL. Magic host MIL MON night.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Magic/Mavericks preview

The Magic (28-32, 10-20 road, 9th East)) get the unfortunate task of playing the best and the hottest team in the NBA SAT night in DAL (49-9, 28-3 home 1st West). Check out these fantastic numbers for the Mavs... they have won 14 games in a row, 21 straight at home, and an almost unheard-of 35 of their last 37 games overall. Magic have lost 18 of their last 24 games.

DAL is led by F Dirk Nowitzki, who averages 25.4 ppg (50.4% FG), 9.6 rebs; G/F Josh Howard 19.2 ppg, 7.1 rebs; G Jason Terry 15.9 ppg, 5.3 asts; G/F Jerry Stackhouse 11.3 ppg, G Devin Harris 9.7 ppg; and C Erick Dampier 7.5 ppg, 7.6 rebs. DAL averages 100.3 ppg while allowing 92.1 ppg. The Magic are now allowing more pts than they are scoring. averaging 93.9 ppg while allowing 94.1 ppg.

Fortunately for the Magic, BOS surprised NJ earlier today, so the Magic trail NJ for the 8th spot by just 1/2 game, and MIA by 2 games for the 7th spot. Mavs are huge 13 1/2 pt favorites against the Magic (www.pinnaclesports.com).

Spurs pull away in 4th to rout Magic

The Magic (28-32, 10-20 road) were trailing SA by only 5 pts late in the third quarter, but it was all downhill from that point, as Manu Ginobili sank a three at the buzzer and SA (40-18, 20-8 home) outscored the Magic by 16 pts in the fourth to win going away 98-74. It was SA's 7th win in a row. The Magic have lost 6 of their last 7.

SA was led by Manu Ginobili, who was on fire off the bench, with 31 pts (6 of 9 3 pt FGs); Tim Duncan 19 pts, 10 rebs; and Michael Finley off the bench with 12 pts. The Magic had just 2 players in double figures... HTurkoglu with 22 pts on 7 of 8 FGs, and JNelson 18 pts, 7 rebs. CArroyo led the bench with 9 pts, 3 asts. DHoward had a rare off-night with 9 pts, 9 rebs. The other 2 starters, DMilicic and KBogans, combined for just 10 pts on 3 of 12 FGs. J.J. Redick finally saw action, scoring 5 pts in 22 minutes.

SA (36 of 79, 45.6%) whipped the Magic (28 of 65, 43.1%) from the field 82-57. SA made a solid 10 of 22 from 3 pt range, while the Magic shot a pitiful 1 of 12 there. The Magic (17 of 23) edged SA (16 of 18) from the FT line. SA had the rebounding advantage 43-35, including 12-6 on the offensive boards. SA had a superior AST/TO ratio of 24/11 compared to the Magic ratio of just 10/16. The SA bench had a huge advantage over the Magic bench 57-15.

Magic coach Brian Hill after the game: "When an elite team loses to somebody, they look to pay you back. We knew it was going to be a hard game coming in."

Magic face the Herculean task of trying to win at DAL SAT night.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Magic/Spurs preview

The Magic (28-31, 10-19 road, 9th East) take on surging SA (39-18, 19-8 home, 3rd West) FRI night. The Spurs have won a season-high 6 games in a row, winning those games by an average of 17 pts. SA is coming off a 107-91 home victory over TOR MON night. G Tony Parker led SA with 27 pts, and F/C Tim Duncan had 24 pts, 16 rebs. The Magic have lost 5 of their last 6 games, and 17 of 23 overall.

SA is led in scoring by Duncan, who averages 20.3 ppg, 10.8 rebs; Parker 18.9 ppg, 5.5 asts; G Manu Ginobili 16.9 ppg; G Brent Barry 8.7 ppg (45.2% 3 pt FG), F Michael Finley 7.8 ppg, and F Bruce Bowen 6.4 ppg. SA averages 98.6 ppg, while allowing 90.6 ppg. ORL averages 94.2 ppg, while allowing 94 ppg.

SA has beaten the Magic 15 of 18 games in SA, but have dropped 3 of the last 4 games to ORL overall, including a dramatic 2 pt Magic win on FEB 9th on DHoward's last-second slam off an inbounds pass. Duncan has averaged 25.8 ppg in 18 career games against the Magic, his most against any opponent. GHill will miss this game with his sore left foot, while injured Tony Battie may play sometime this weekend. No line out for the game yet.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Iverson's big second half leads DEN over Magic

The Magic (28-31, 10-19 away) were able to hang with DEN for much of the game before the Nuggets (28-28, 15-15 home) were able to pull away late in the fourth of a 111-101 victory. To make matters worse for the Magic, GHill did not play in the second half due to soreness in his left foot, and went scoreless in 13 minutes.

Allen Iverson scored 27 of his 34 pts in the second half and also had 7 asts, 5 steals; Carmelo Anthony finished with 23 pts; Eduardo Najera off the bench 17 pts; Linas Kleiza also off the bench 15 pts; Nene 12 pts, 8 rebs; and Marcus Camby 10 pts, 7 rebs, 5 steals. ORL was led by DHoward with 23 pts, 12 rebs; JNelson 16 pts, 6 asts but 7 TOs; KDooling off the bench 14 pts; HTurkoglu 12 pts in 18 minutes due to foul trouble; and DMilicic 10 pts, 8 rebs.

DEN (42 of 84, 50%) outscored the Magic (39 of 80, 48.8%) from the field 88-87. Magic shot well from 3 pt range, going 9 of 15, while DEN was 4 of 15. DEN (23 of 31) had the advantage at the FT line over the Magic (14 of 19). The Magic outrebounded DEN 44-37. TOs doomed the Magic once again as they committed 25 TOs, compared to just 12 for DEN. DEN had a very good 28/12 AST/TO ratio, while the Magic were just 24/25. The Magic bench outscored the DEN bench 40-32.

With MIA's win over WAS, the Magic now fall 1 game behind the Heat for the 7th seed, and 1/2 game behind NJ for the 8th seed. The Magic now have the brutal task of playing at SA FRI and at DAL SAT.