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Orlando Magic News & Notes: Magic Off to a Good Start On West Coast


The Orlando Magic defeated the Sacramento Kings Tuesday night for the second win in a row. They will look to extend their winning streak to three against the Denver Nuggets Wednesday night. You can find a game preview here.

Click below to see more news & notes.

Dwight Howard had a huge game in Sacramento Tuesday night.

"“The baddest man I’ve ever played with. It just shows you we got to get him the ball,” Barnes said. “As talented as we are the focus is still on Dwight.”Van Gundy called it Howard’s best game of the season because he didn’t get frustrated. He showed patience in his play and patience with the refs.“When he’s that efficient, it’s easy to keep pounding the ball to him,” Van Gundy said.Kings coach Paul Westphal echoed Van Gundy’s praise of Howard, who leads all centers in all-star balloting. He has Westphal’s vote.“We couldn’t stop Dwight Howard,” Westphal said. “If we doubled him, he found the open man. If we didn’t double him, he scored himself. He showed a lot of maturity in judgment in the low post and we just couldn’t do anything with him.“….Dwight made that fourth quarter very, very ugly. He’s an unbelievable player and their team utilized him perfectly.”"

John Denton took a look at last night’s game.

"“In the corner (of ARCO Arena) there’s a board that has the field goal percentages and I kept watching theirs go down and down and down,’’ said Magic shooting guard J.J. Redick, who was a part of the Magic’s closing unit in the fourth period. “I didn’t realize until after the game that we held them to 10 points, but it definitely felt like we were getting stops every time down. Our energy and focus on defense were really better. That’s why we were successful last year and it’s why we’ve been successful this season.’’Orlando once trailed by as many as nine points, but never cracked against one of the NBA’s most dynamic young teams. The Magic won this one with their defensive grit – they held Sacramento (15-22) to 34.9 percent shooting – and heavy doses of Howard, Williams and others.“We contained the ball and we didn’t let them get more than one shot,’’ said Howard, who had the 70th game of his career and the sixth one of this season with at least 20 points and 15 rebounds. “We made a great effort in the second half of not giving up anything easy.’’"

Read Denton’s analysis here.

Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee takes a look at the game from an opposing position.

"“I’d hate to let that fourth quarter put such a damper on a game where we did so many good things against another top team,” said Kings coach Paul Westphal. “But the fourth quarter obviously leaves a bad taste in our mouths.”There was plenty in the fourth quarter that went wrong. First, the offense sputtered. The Kings made 4 of 22 from the floor (18.2 percent) and missed all seven of their threes.Defensively the Kings couldn’t stop the Magic. Orlando made 12 of 18 (66.7 percent) from the field and outrebounded the Kings 15-7.“We had horrible shot selection and played right into their strengths,” Westphal said. “And on top of that, we couldn’t make shots.”"

Read that here.

Brian Schmitz wonders what would have happened if Billy Donovan kept the Magic job and Stan Van Gundy took the job with the Kings.

"Could you have pictured Van Gundy in Sacramento….?Stan gets stressed losing one game a week as Magic coach. As Kings coach, well, he might need to take a leave of absence — by February. It might result in a first in sports: A family calling a news conference to announce it wanted to spend more time with him.Then again, his family wouldn’t have to worry about a season dragging on into the playoffs.Van Gundy could not have possibly morphed into the new, gentler Stan in Sacramento. Frankly, Kings players might have needed to obtain a restraining order against him.Stan would have Spencer Hawes as his center, not Dwight Howard. Yes, Spencer Hawes."

Read that story here.

Dwight Howard continues to work on his jumper.

"Everybody on our teams wants to see me shooting more jump shots, from Otis Smith to all of my teammates and coaches. It just another way for me to score when teams are trapping me inside and sending double-teams at me.I worked really hard on my shot this summer. I shot hundreds and hundreds of jumpers off pick and pops this summer and got really comfortable with the shot. I’m sure some of you guys have seen some of the YouTube videos of my shooting, and you could see that I was making most of them."

Read Dwight’s blog here.

Magic General Manager Otis Smith still claims that he is not looking to trade Marcin Gortat or Brandon Bass.

"Orlando Magic general manager Otis Smith said Tuesday that he likely wouldn’t consider making a trade before the deadline next month unless the team was hit with a serious injury.“It would depend at what position,” he said. “Right now, I don’t see anything happening.”Despite rumors that pop up from time to time, Smith has no plans to deal back-up C Marcin Gortat or PF Brandon Bass. Both players have been frustrated with their playing time. He said he felt the Magic had enough big men to challenge for a title.Although the Magic are paying the luxury tax because of a high payroll, Smith also said that he planned on keeping the franchise’s first-round draft pick this season. The pick likely will come very late in the round if the club advances deep into the playoffs."

Read that story here.

Austin Burton named an All-Foxhole team. He placed Matt Barnes as an honorable mention selection.

"Sometimes he’s the enforcer. Sometimes he’s the fullback. Sometimes he’s the safety outlet. Sometimes he’s the emotional center. Whatever you want to call him, he’s usually not the star of the team; he’s the guy the star can’t win without."

See Burton’s team here.

The Orlando Magic have taken home two major sales awards.

"The Magic won the “Most New Season Tickets Sold” Award, and was honored as one of eight teams to win “10,000+ Season Tickets Sold” accolades. The Magic sold an NBA-best 5,017 new season tickets for the current season, thus eclipsing 10,000 season tickets.Coming off its trip to the NBA Finals, the Magic did not raise season ticket prices for this year. All told, there were 7,500 seats priced $25 or under per game, as well as $10 tickets."

Read that story here.

(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.)