Magic Dominate Final Quarter, Rout Kings


The Magic looked a little sluggish early on, but they dominated the fourth quarter and snapped their three-game road losing streak, improving to 26-12 on the season with a 109-88 win. Dwight Howard led the way with 30 points, 16 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, and 3 blocks.

The Orlando Magic came out and tried to establish themselves in the paint immediately. The Magic posted Rashard Lewis up early on and went to Dwight Howard on nearly every first quarter possession. The Kings are undersized so this was the right strategy. Howard was 4-of-8 from the field and got to the free throw line six times, making five. He had 13 points and 6 rebounds in the period. The Kings matched Howard’s 13 points with bench production from Spencer Hawes and Andres Nocioni. Neither team shot very well in the quarter and it came to a close with the score tied at 24.

The second quarter was very entertaining. Beno Udrih scored 10 second quarter points and just couldn’t miss in the period. Jason Williams did a good job trying to match Udrih. He scored 8 points and dished out 2 assists. The Magic allowed the Kings to score 31 points on 10-of-25 shooting. The Kings also got the stripe 12 times in the period, knocking down 9 of those free throws. The Magic fell behind by as many as 9 in the quarter, but they ended the period with a Jameer Nelson layup and a buzzer-beating catch-and-shoot by J.J. Redick that he got off in .03 seconds cut the halftime lead to 55-51.

The Magic and the Kings played a fairly even third quarter. Tyreke Evans, who was 1-of-10 from the field in the first half, scored 9 points on 4-of-4 shooting and helped the Kings remain in the lead. The Magic went back to Dwight Howard and he scored 8 points in the quarter. Howard dominated the Kings defenders and got his teammates open looks. Jameer Nelson hit two three-pointers and Mickael Pietrus made some nice drives to the hoop, getting to the rim with relative ease, helping to keep the Magic within 2.

The fourth quarter was absolutely dominated by the Magic. They outscored the Kings 33-10 in the period. Orlando shot 12-of-18 form the field, 8-of-9 from the line and grabbed 15 rebounds while committing just 3 turnovers. The Kings shot just 4-of-22 from the field as the Magic locked up a 109-88 win.
Orlando Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy was not happy with Orlando’s first half performance but said the defense improved in the third quarter and was “terrific” in the final period.

Dwight Howard was an absolute monster. His stat line on Tuesday night was absolutely incredible – 30 points on 9-of-15 shooting, 16 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks, and 3 steals. He also made 75% of his free throws, going 9-of-12 from the line. The Magic made a good effort to get Howard the ball and must continue to do so. Howard was just as impressive on the other end of the floor. The Kings came into the game, ranking second in the league in points in paint, averaging 47 a game, but Howard and the Magic held the Kings to just 26 points in the paint. On shots within 10 feet of the rim, the Kings were just 13-of-39 (33.3%) largely in thanks to Howard’s defense.

Jason Williams had a very good game for the Magic. His second quarter energy kept the Magic in a game that they were in danger of letting slip away. He finished with 12 points on 6-of-11 shooting and had 6 assists. Tuesday night’s performance exactly why Williams is such a good asset off of the bench. He provides instant energy and when need be, he provides instant scoring.

The rest of the bench played well too. Mickael Pietrus collected a double-double, scoring 18 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Pietrus was very efficient, shooting 7-of-11 from the field. He did an excellent job of getting to the hoop – six of his baskets came at the rim. Ryan Anderson, playing in front of his parents in the same arena that he won a high school state championship in, had 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting. He had 5 rebounds with 3 coming on the offensive glass. Anderson’s offensive rebounding ability has been better than expected this season and he continues to impress in that area.

Fellow Californian Matt Barnes also had a nice game. He scored 10 points, grabbed 7 rebounds and had 2 steals.

Jameer Nelson had some early trouble and shot just 2-of-9 from the field, but his two second half three-pointers really helped Orlando keep it close in the third quarter.


Orlando’s defense was incredible in the fourth quarter but they finished with excellent all-around numbers too. The Kings shot an effective field goal percentage of just 39.5% and rookie Point Guard Tyreke Evans scored 18 points, but we held to just 5-of-16 shooting.

It wasn’t all good for Orlando’s guards on defense. Point Guard Beno Udrih gave the Magic fits in the first half. The Magic did eventually lock him down, holding him to just 3 second half points. He finished with 15 points on 5-of-11 shooting.

Orlando rebounded the ball very well, especially in the fourth quarter. They grabbed 15 of their 50 rebounds in the fourth quarter. Orlando did have some rebounding issues, letting the Kings grab 12 offensive rebounds led by John Bockman’s 5 offensive boards.

Game Notes:

  • Rashard Lewis scored just 7 points on 2-of-8 shooting in 29 minutes.
  • Both teams had 12 turnovers, 11 fast break points and missed 5 free throws.
  • Orlando dominated the Kings in the paint, scoring 52 points to Sacramento’s 26.
  • Sacramento’s starting backcourt was 6-of-20 from the field.
  • The Kings scored just 33 second half points, including only 10 in the final period.

Next Up: The Magic must head straight to Denver to play the Nuggets on Wednesday night.

Final Thought: This was a good win for the Magic. The Kings are young, but very talented and well-coached.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger and a contributor at NFL Mocks Subscribe to his RSS feed and add him on Twitter to follow him daily.)