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.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Game review: Magic (32-16) 91, Pistons (15-31) 86

The Magic, playing without PG Jameer Nelson the final three quarters because of a hyperextended knee, were able to squeak out a hard-fought win against their nemesis Detroit, thanks to another outstanding performance off the bench from J.J. Redick in place of an ineffective Vince Carter, and also reserve Mickael Pietrus, who hit several clutch shots during the game. The Pistons had lost 18 of 22 games coming into the game and had lost their last home game by 27 points to Miami, and were also without starter Charlie Villanueva, who was scratched just before the game. Nevertheless, they gave the Magic all they could handle.

The Magic started out the game like they were going to blow out the Pistons, as they made 7 of their first 8 shots and led by as much as 25-10 in the first quarter before settling for a 29-21 lead after one. The Magic had a comfortable 43-29 lead halfway through the second quarter before suddenly going cold and turning the ball over as the Pistons pulled to within 48-45 at halftime. The Magic scored just 2 points the first 6 minutes of the third quarter as the Pistons completed a 30-9 run that started in the second quarter and had their largest lead at 59-52. The Magic came back to pull within 65-64 after three. That was the Pistons' last lead of the game, as the Magic scored the first 5 points of the fourth quarter to go ahead 69-65. However, they could not put the Pistons away as they stayed close and tied the game at 79 with 3:54 remaining. The Magic scored five in a row to make it 84-79, but Detroit refused to give up, coming to within 87-86 with just under a minute remaining. Richard Hamilton and Ben Gordon each missed shots with under 20 seconds remaining that would have given the Pistons the lead. The Magic made their final 4 free throws in the final seconds to account for the win.

Magic leading scorers

J.J. Redick (bench): 17 points (5 of 11 FGs, 2 of 6 3 PT FGs)
Dwight Howard: 16 points (4 of 9 FGs, 8 of 18 FTs), 15 rebounds, 5 blocks
Rashard Lewis: 15 points (5 of 7 FGs, 3 of 4 3 PT FGs), 7 rebounds, 4 assists
Mickael Pietrus (bench): 14 points (4 of 5 3 PT FGs)

Overall Game Statistics

FG%: ORL 46.9% (30 of 64) DET 39.2% (31 of 79)
3 PT FG%: ORL 45.5% (10 of 22) DET 31.2% (5 of 16)
FT%: DET 76% (19 of 25) ORL 65.6% (21 of 32)
REB: DET 43 (12 offensive) ORL 38 (4 offensive)
AST/TO: DET 20/12 ORL 19/14

Other game notes and stats:

-Four Pistons finished in double figures, led by G Rodney Stuckey with 18 points, 7 assists; F Jonas Jerebko added 16 points, 9 rebounds; Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince combined to score 26 points, but shot a combined 10 of 26; Pistons' C Ben Wallace added 9 rebounds and 3 blocks
-Pistons' free agent signee Ben Gordon scored just 5 points off the bench on 2 of 11 shooting
-The Pistons' starters outscored the Magic starters 64-44
-The Magic bench scored 47 points on 15 of 31 FG shooting, including 6 of 16 on threes, and made all 11 free throw attempts
-Redick and Pietrus combined for 31 points off the bench on 9 of 17 FGs, including 6 of 11 3 PT FGs
-During the Pistons' 30-9 run that spanned portions of the second and third quarter, the Magic shot just 2 of 17 and committed 7 turnovers
-The Magic held the Pistons to 41 second-half points
-After weeks of not seeing meaningful playing time, Magic PG Anthony Johnson backed up Jason Williams due to Nelson's injury and scored 6 points with 3 assists and 0 turnovers in 21 minutes
-Vince Carter's struggles continue, as he scored 2 points on 1 of 8 shooting; he was replaced by Redick at the 7:49 mark of the third quarter and did not return
-Other than Howard, the Magic were 13 of 14 at the FT line
-Rashard Lewis attempted just 7 field goals in 31 minutes; he scored 9 first quarter points and did not score a gain until the final quarter
-With the Magic win, they now are all alone as the second seed in the East; as a result, Stan Van Gundy will coach the Eastern Conference All-Stars in the All-Star Game in 2 weeks; Cleveland coach Mike Brown is ineligible because he was the coach last season

Here is the complete recap and box score from nba.com


  • At 11:12 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Another stinker by Vince Carter. It is unfair to him, as well as detriment to team's consistency that he is playing, with the four tough games coming up starting next Sunday at Boston.

  • At 4:08 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    It's never easy against the Pistons for the Magic, is it, no matter how much the Pistons might be struggling. At least the Magic had enough resolve to hang on there at the end, despite Howard's free throw problems, Nelson's first half injury, and Carter's continued struggles.

    The bench was huge again for the Magic.

    Props go out to Mickael Pietrus, who was remarkably efficient with 14 points on just 6 shots. It was his best game in quite a while.

    According to the post-game recap from the Orlando Sentinel's Tania Ganguli, Pietrus said he will probably miss a week from turning his ankle late in the game. That's too bad; I'm sure we'll find out more about the injury in the next couple of days.

    Good for Coach Van Gundy for benching Vince Carter and not returning him to the game in the second half when he obviously didn't have it once again. Redick was playing well in Carter's place anyhow, and played a big part of the victory.

    I'd like to see Rashard get more than 7 shots in 31 minutes, as he was remarkably efficient with 15 points on the 7 shots.

    Congrats to Coach Van Gundy as he will be the coach for the Eastern Conference in the All-Star Game, although he's probably not that thrilled about it.


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