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, January 17, 2009

Nelson catches fire in the fourth to lead Magic over Lakers

Jameer Nelson scored 15 of his 28 points all in the final six minutes of the fourth quarter and four other Magic players scored in double figures to overcome Kobe Bryant's triple double as the Magic scored the last eight points of the game in a tense, playoff-like 109-103 Magic win over the LA Lakers.

The Lakers had the lead for all of the first half, leading 23-20 after one and 52-44 at the half. The Lakers had their largest lead at 54-44 early in the third, but then the Magic went on a 25-6 run to take a 69-60 lead. The Lakers then finished the quarter on a 15-5 run to take a 75-74 lead into the fourth quarter. Nelson pulled the Magic through in the final six minutes as he hit 4 of 5 field goals, including 3 of 3 three pointers and 4 of 5 free throws for his 15 fourth quarter points.

Magic leading scorers

Jameer Nelson: 28 points (9 of 18 field goals), 8 assists, 6 rebounds
Dwight Howard: 25 points (8 of 18 field goals), 20 rebounds, 3 blocks, 6 turnovers
Rashard Lewis: 16 points (5 of 11 field goals), 4 steals
Hedo Turkoglu: 13 points (4 of 14 field goals), 5 rebounds
Courtney Lee: 12 points (4 of 10 field goals), 7 rebounds, 3 steals

LA leading scorers

Kobe Bryant: 28 points (10 of 26 field goals), 13 rebounds, 11 assists
Lamar Odom (bench): 17 points, 9 rebounds
Vladimir Radmanovic: 15 points

Overall Game statistics

FG%: ORL 44.6% (37 of 83) LAL 39.8% (37 of 93)
3 PT FG%: ORL 42.9% (12 of 28) LAL 34.6% (9 of 26)
FT%: LAL 74.1% (20 of 27) ORL 67.6% (23 of 34)
REB: ORL 54 (15 offensive) LAL 40 (12 offensive)
AST/TO: LAL 19/11 ORL 19/16

Other game notes and stats:

-The Magic swept the two game season series for the first time ever from the Lakers
-The Magic scored 65 second half points after being held to just 44 first half points
-After shooting just 16 of 44 in the first half, the Magic shot 21 of 39 in the second half
-The Magic starting frontcourt outscored the Lakers' starting frontcourt 54-42 and outrebounded them 29-13
-Nelson and Lee combined for 40 points on 13 of 28 shooting
-Howard was just 9 of 16 from the free throw line and committed six turnovers despite the 25/20
-The Magic used a nine-man rotation, with Tony Battie leading the reserves with 8 points
-Bryant shot just 3 of 12 in the final quarter, missing 8 of his final 9 shots
-Other than Vladimir Radmanovic, who shot 5 of 8 from three point range, the Lakers were just 4 of 18 from long range
-Bryant took 26 shots; the next two closest Lakers had 13 shot attempts

The Magic are now just percentage points behind Cleveland in the East and have a better record than any NBA team except the Cavaliers.

Not much rest for the Magic, as they take on Denver Saturday night in the hope for a perfect 4-0 road trip.

For the complete box score, click here


  • At 3:30 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Wow... what a performance by Jameer in the final quarter! Clutch shot after clutch shot, plunging a dagger into the hearts of the Lakers and their fans! He also had 8 assists to go along with his 28 points.

    Anyone out there who still thinks Otis Smith made a mistake in signing Nelson to the long-term contract before last season? Nelson is having a breakout season, to say the least, which is one of the key reasons why the Magic are now one of the top NBA teams in the league.

    How about the Magic's rebounding advantage... 54-40.

    The Magic continue to prove their doubters wrong every game it seems!

  • At 7:03 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    This was a rare game that I could watch because ESPN international carried it. Magic was average in the first half allowing Kobe to break down the defense at will and spot the shooters. But they were fantastic in the second half, offensively, as well as defensively. Magic was moving the ball extremely well spotting shooters all over. Jameer was a leader, and Courtney was fearless. I think he has a bright future ahead of him. With this game, regardless of potential play-offs match-ups, Magic should be considered an elite team, not only due to the record but because of the way they played against Western Conference division leaders, and powerhouses in SA and LA.

    Having that said, I want to put any credit going to Otis Smith for extending Jameer's contract to rest, since this would sounds like Monday morning quarterbacking to me. Jameer didn't do much to justify the contract last year, and he had many problems with prototype larger PGs in the league. What is happening this year is an excellent coach has put an offensive system in place built around the best center in the league and a bunch of excellent shooters, Courtney Lee included, who have the permission to shoot whenever they are open. Did you ever see SVG cringe when a player has taken an open shot and missed? The coach has the respect of his players and they are all glued to what he says. Adding to that the factor that the team is winning, and you will have exponential effect. The team still needs a better reserve PG since with AG coming in for Jameer there was a considerable drop-off.

    GO MAGIC!!!!!!!!!!

  • At 9:24 AM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    Did everyone notice that with the game on the line... in the heat of battle... 4th quarter gut check time...

    Dwight Howard was smiling, laughing, joking, having the time of his life. Blowing on his left hand after making a shot. Talking to his right hand when he missed a free throw. Just plain goofing off while dominating in the post.

    I'm not sure I've ever seen a Magic player act like that in the 4th quarter of a big national TV game.

  • At 10:34 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    WeR even better,dwight has for about two weeks now been putting his mojo on the ball after someone takes a free throw attempt. Last night it was kobe,after his first free throw attempt dwight grabs the ball from the ref,blows on it,twists it in his hands,then he looks like he wispers something to the ball,then lets his teammate who's on the other side of the lane do the same thing before handing it back to the ref. kobe said something to dwight and they started jawing about it,dwight said something back while giving a huge smile but it was clear that the damage was done,kobe missed the second free throw. Dwight getting under players skin now? Also dont want to be a hater cause i love the guy,but hedo was horrible defensively in the first half. His closeouts on radmonivic were super late and rad's three pointers early are what kept the lakers with the lead for the first two quarters. His on-the-ball defense against ariza was just as bad. Ariza got by him one time for a dunk that was top ten worthy! I'm glad the lakers gave us a preview of how tough play-off basketball will be,hedo's defense (or softness) will continue to be exposed in these type of games. I cant beleive the quick development of CL,the guy needs to be given a ton of credit for going right at kobe all night long defensively. He actually did a respectable job to boot,i wish hedo had half of the toughness CL shows(and CL is half his size). And jameer,what can you say. I agree with mike on this one because jameer is proving to be one of the top three PG's in the east,which means otis was right in giving him an extension bottom line. Jameer went through so much last year that he was bound to be a little off in his game,but this year with focus and determination he is showing what he can really do. Saying he didnt do much to earn his worth is a matter of opinion,sometimes things can be proven in practice and maybe otis saw everything he needed to see from jameer there. A certain skill set is needed to play PG here and otis recognized that in jameer (EVEN AFTER A BAD YEAR) and extended it before everybody else had,now he's lookin like a genius.

  • At 10:37 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Almost forgot DH 25 pts 20 rebs...WOW!

  • At 11:11 AM, Blogger Spencer said…

    Unbelievable game. Closing out S.A. and the Lakers will be remembered as watershed moments at the beginning of our rise to the top. I love the balance Van Gundy has struck within the team. We've got hot shooting tempered with some very solid defensive play, and, with time, this is perhaps the surest recipe for success.

    Obviously, Jameer has silenced his critics. I'm ashamed to admit I was one of the naysayers last year. I won't be so quick to judge a player ever again. Since around November, he's played such a high-quality game that he's now an absolutely indispensable asset to the team.

    Also, to emphasize what Big Figure said about CL, the guy is just a champ. I don't think anyone really knew what to expect from him in the wake of the draft, but he's provided a crucial spark for us defensively. First he goes up against Dwyane and now Kobe - these are unguardable guys when they're really firing - and he turned in admirable games on both occasions. Sure, he's got a long way to go, but check out last night's stat line. He's doing a lot for us out there - key point-scoring (threes and inspired drives), boards, and steals. Plus he's super athletic. Love watching this guy play.

    The real test will be to see how we play against Boston and Cleveland in the next two weeks. I figure if we can get one (and I really hope it's Boston) we'll finally convince the doubters that we've got a hell of a team down in O-town.

    So, so proud right now.

  • At 6:15 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Spencer, good comments and welcome to the blog!

    Matt, glad you were able to watch the game on ESPN International; as the Magic get more national TV exposure as the season goes on, hopefully you'll be able to watch more games where you're at.

    Adding to what Big Figure said... the Magic were still able to win despite the sub-par game from Turk with his 4 of 14 shooting and poor defense at times.

    Also, even though Dwight's 25/20 stats were awesome, I was afraid that his 7 missed free throws and 6 turnovers might cost the Magic, but thanks to Jameer's uncanny shooting in the fourth, they didn't.

    All of Nelson's 3 three pointers in the fourth came when the Magic were trailing and gave the Magic the lead each time. I don't know if I've ever seen anything like that before!


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