Game review: Wizards (17-32) 92, Magic (33-17) 91
Washington, in absolutely stunning fashion, was able to overcome a 21 point first quarter deficit to take a 9 point lead early in the fourth quarter. The Magic came back to take a 91-90 lead with 4.6 seconds remaining thanks to Rashard Lewis's three pointer, but Caron Butler's jumper with 0.5 seconds remaining gave the Wizards the improbable win as Lewis's last-second three point attempt was not attempted in time and missed anyhow on the final play. Butler and Randy Foye were the only Wizards' players to score in double figures.
The game started out as if it was going to be a blowout of epic proportions for the Magic, as they jumped out to leads of 10-0, 15-2, and 28-7 before settling for a seemingly comfortable 32-13 lead after one. The Magic still had a 50-31 lead with under a minute remaining in the half, but the Wizards scored the final 4 points to make the score 50-35 Magic at the half. The Magic then proceeded to play probably their worst quarter of the season in the third quarter, as the Wizards outscored them 39-17 in the quarter to take a 74-67 lead after three as the Magic shot a woeful 4 of 19 in the third, while the Wizards shot 11 of 16, and 14 of 14 on FTs. The Wizards scored the first two points of the fourth quarter before the Magic finally woke up and scored 11 points in a row to take a 78-76 lead with 8:20 remaining. The game went back-and-forth from that point on, as neither team had more than a 2 point lead which set up the tense final minute.
The Magic's failure to give Howard the ball after the first quarter played a huge part in them losing the game. Howard was 5 of 9 in the first quarter for 10 points, but just 3 of 6 the rest of the game, including 2 of 5 in the second half.
Magic leading scorers
Vince Carter: 21 points (5 of 17 FGs, 10 of 10 FTs)
Dwight Howard: 20 points (8 of 14 FGs, 4 of 6 FTs), 18 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 steals, 4 turnovers
Rashard Lewis: 12 points (5 of 10 FGs, 2 of 5 3 PT FGs), 5 rebounds, 2 steals
Jameer Nelson: 12 points (4 of 13 FGs, 2 of 4 3 PT FGs), 5 assists, 2 steals
Overall Game Statistics
FG%: WAS 43.0% (34 of 79) ORL 38.6% (32 of 83)
3 PT FG%: ORL 31.8% (7 of 22) WAS 28.6% (4 of 14)
FT%: WAS 90.9% (20 of 22) ORL 80% (20 of 25)
REB: WAS 52 (9 offensive) ORL 41 (8 offensive)
AST/TO: ORL 16/11 WAS 12/20
BENCH: ORL 20 WAS 16
Other game notes and stats:
-The Wizards' Butler (31 points) and Foye (22 points) combined for 53 of the Wizards' 92 points on 17 of 36 FGs and 17 of 18 FTs
-The remaining nine Wizards combined for 17 FGs and 39 points
-Wizards' C Brendan Haywood led them with 10 rebounds; Butler added 9 rebounds, while Foye added 7 assists
-The starting Magic frontcourt outscored the Wizards' starting frontcourt 38-23, but the Wizards' starting backcourt outscored the Magic starting backcourt 53-33
-The Wizards outscored the Magic 61-35 in the second and third quarters
-The Magic shot 14 of 23 in the first quarter, and 18 of 60 (30%) thereafter
-The Wizards made just 7 of their first 26 shots, and 27 of 53 from that point forward
-J.J. Redick led the Magic bench with 9 points on 4 of 8 shooting
-Mickael Pietrus, Ryan Anderson, and Marcin Gortat combined to score 4 points (all by Pietrus) on 1 of 11 shooting
-The Magic are now just 1/2 game ahead of Atlanta in the SE
Here is the complete recap and box score from nba.com.