ORLANDO, Fla. — The win was not pretty, but the Orlando Magic put it all together with a 95-85 victory Friday night at Amway Center over the New Jersey Nets.
Add another W and the Magic (47-26) picked up their fifth win in a row.
Hedo Turkoglu had the ‘it’ factor tonight. For a guy that likes to share the wealth, he played aggressive with 20 points. Turkoglu still had 13 assists, but it’s a look that can be helpful for this Magic squad.
Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy shared the sentiment.
“I told him everything gets set up by his shot,” Van Gundy said. “That he’s got to shoot the ball when he’s open and I thought what happened tonight is they wanted to take away him turning the corner.”
Turkoglu made the most of his opportunities. He made 8-of-11 from the floor and added three triples to his totals. On the season, he is averaging 11.1 points per game. Following the game, Turkoglu said that Van Gundy had been telling him to be more aggressive. Instead of always looking to pass the ball, he said he’s beginning “to turn the corner just and look for my shot first.”
Orlando was without Jameer Nelson in the second half after suffering a sprained left knee in the second quarter. Van Gundy said it’s too early to tell, but that they will know more on Sunday. Even then, were able to perform well without in the second half.
The Magic shot the ball well against a Deron Williams-less Nets (23-48) squad. Williams sat out for the fourth consecutive following a fall against Milwaukee last Friday. Orlando converted slightly over half of their attempted shots (50.7 percent) in the 10-point victory. They also cut down the turnovers a bit, committing only 11. Dwight Howard had a game-high 21 points and 14 rebounds, but unlike his play from the free throw line against New York, he shot an awful 7-of-18 from the line versus the Nets, something Van Gundy made sure to express.
“He had trouble making free throws, he had some turnovers, he was a little bit frustrated,” Van Gundy said.
Howard, alone contributed five turnovers. His performance went with the game. Although it was a win, it could have been by a bigger margin. The game showed the inconsistency this team has been plagued with this season. The Magic shot 10-of-23 from the free throw line, a stat that Van Gundy said could have put the game out reach if they made their shots.
The Magic defense allowed the Nets to stay in the game. At times, it looked like New Jersey could not miss a shot, making 46.2 percent of their field goals.
Gilbert Arenas, who had a great game off the bench Wednesday night, had a disappointing 27 minutes on the court. He made two points and shot a dismal 1-of-12 from the floor. Van Gundy said Arenas had a tough night and he’ll need to work harder with a thin roster.
Ryan Anderson scored 15 points and had nine rebounds in his 30 minutes from the bench. Anderson is averaging 10.5 points on the year and has been clutch from the 3-point line.
Orlando returns to the Big Apple Monday night, just five days after a win at Madison Square Garden. In the course of the win-streak, The Magic have held four opponents to under 90.