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Bad shooting night dooms Orlando Magic

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I wrote a short article on Sunday night’s game for the Boston Herald. You can see that here. The Orlando Magic lost on Sunday night because they couldn’t put the ball in the basket. And it wasn’t because of poor ball movement (59 percent of their field goals were assisted), careless offense (only eight turnovers) or a lack of attacking the hoop (28 free-throw attempts, compared to 27 for Boston). Really, that’s what made this loss so frustrating. The Magic weren’t playing poorly. They were missing open shots. Somehow, it took a buzzer-beater for the Celtics to beat the Magic. Despite their worst shooting night of the playoffs — going 5-of-27 from 3-point range, including a 2-for-18 performance from the guards — the Magic found themselves up by one point in the final seconds of Game 4. A win puts them up 3-1 heading back to Boston. Some people might glance at the box score, see 22 missed 3-pointers for the Magic and assume they were chucking up bad shots. Definitely not the case. “I’m going to say that 22 or 23 of them were pretty good shots,” Stan Van Gundy said of the team’s 27 3-point attempts. “And, we couldn’t get them in the basket. But we executed our offense down the stretch.” JJ Redick went 0-for-5 from deep, and they were all quality shots. Courtney Lee, before hitting a couple big shots in the fourth quarter, struggled all game on the offensive end, but he wasn’t forcing anything. It seemed like Hedo Turkoglu had every shot rim out. What can you do? “This league is big on missing and making,” Rafer Alston said. “They won the game by making. We’re not talking about bad 3s; we’re having good looks. When they double-down Dwight, he’s kicking it out. You never want to turn down good shots.” Glen Davis’ 18-footer tied the series at 2-2, and that one play seemingly shifted all of the momentum back in Boston’s favor. Then again, how much has momentum really meant in this series? The teams have traded off victories in the first four games, apparently stealing the momentum back in their own favor four separate times. What they’re saying: Rashard Lewis: “You most definitely don’t want Paul Pierce to take that last shot. I’d rather Big Baby take that shot. I tried to get back to him but it was a second too late. I didn’t think he was going to make it. I thought we were going to have the game won. But he stepped up, and he made a big shot.” Dwight Howard: “We can’t blame it on Stan. We win together and we lose together. That’s the same thing I told him after the game. We can’t say we lost the game on that one play right there. There were a lot of plays during the game where we had chances to take the lead and keep it but that one play right there, we can’t blame it on coach. And I told him he can’t get down on himself.” Hedo Turkoglu: “It will be a good experience to learn from this. I think this will be a good challenge for us to see where we are and how strong we can bounce back.” Paul Pierce: “Turkoglu is very crafty with some of the things that he does to draw fouls. I have to tip my hat off to him for it, because I do some of the same things. It’s tings that you just can’t teach. He knows how to get the refs’ attention.” Glen Davis: “Every time I shoot I kind of feel myself making game-winning shots all the time. You always have to see it. If you see it, you believe it. A shot like that you have to believe you are going to make it. Everyone knows I am an emotional guy. You have seen me cry one time. I am an emotional guy and I love the game of basketball. I am hard on myself. I was just enjoying the moment. You saw raw emotion right there.”