defeated the New Orleans Hornets 123-117 Monday night. The players and coaches had nothin..."/> defeated the New Orleans Hornets 123-117 Monday night. The players and coaches had nothin..."/>

Orlando Magic News & Notes: Carter Goes Off

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The Orlando Magic defeated the New Orleans Hornets 123-117 Monday night. The players and coaches had nothing but great things to say about Carter in the postgame and you find that here.

It was Vince Carter’s best game in years.

"Carter wasn’t only a new man on Monday night at Amway Arena. He reinvented his legend, scoring 48 points to lead the Orlando Magic in a 123-117 comeback victory against the New Orleans Hornets.Carter, who struggled through a forgettable January slump, hit 19-of-27 shots and six 3-pointers in his first signature performance since signing with the Magic, his boyhood team, last summer."

Brian Schmitz has that story here.

Josh Robbins talks about Darren Colliso’s huge game against the Orlando point guards.

"“Well,” Hornets coach Jeff Bower said, “we’re asking him to do many, many things that you ask a veteran guard to do.”At 6 feet tall and just 160 pounds, Collison doesn’t look like he would cast a giant shadow on the court.But he did Monday.Collison set the tone early, torching the Magic during the first half by scoring 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting and adding eight assists.He played less effectively in the second half, however.“I thought that we did a better job on their pick-and-rolls the last quarter and a half,” Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. “Collison still scored, but we cut down his ability to create, I think.”"

You can find that here.

As usual, John Denton provided his postgame analysis.

"Carter delighted the sold-out Amway Arena crowd with the finest scoring night by a Magic player since Tracy McGrady’s 62-point effort back on March 10, 2004 against Washington. He narrowly missed his career high of 51 points – done twice in his career – and playfully wagged his head as the crowd begged him to take a shot as the final seconds ticked away.“It was a great feeling and it’s always a great feeling when you’re shooting like that,’’ said Carter, who was mobbed by his teammates in the locker room in the immediate moments after the game. “To get it rolling like that for your team, that’s what you play for. This team has so many weapons so I never imagined that I’d have this kind of game.’’"

You can find that here.

Steve Kyler took note of the huge media circle around Vince Carter.

"Magic guard Vince Carter drew his biggest post-game media crowd of the season and said his 48 points was really a product of being comfortable on the floor and having team mate Jameer Nelson continue to call plays for him. Vince joked that after the 6th straight play he told Jameer to go to another teammate, to which Jameer gave the ball to carter anyway. Jameer joked that he knew Vince was feeling it after the first 6 plays were buckets and knew he needed to keep going to Vince."

Read his courtside blog here.

Kurt Helin of Pro Basketball Talk, part of the NBC network, discussed the game.

"Game of the night because in the third quarter the 2005 NBA Live version of Vince Carter showed up and took over. Gone was settling-for-jumpers Carter, replaced by the-rim-is-scared-of-me Carter. Vince dropped 48 on 70% shooting (6 of 10 from three), most of that in the second half. He hit circus shots with defenders draped on him. This is two good games in a row for Carter — not a full blown trend yet, but if it becomes one the Magic just got a lot more scary."

You can find that here.

Tim Povtak says that Vinsanity returned.

"“That was vintage Vince Carter,” gushed Magic coach Stan Van Gundy. “He was incredible, unbelievable tonight. Most of his shots didn’t even hit the rim.”For Carter, it was his highest-scoring game since getting a career-high 51 points for the New Jersey Nets against Miami early in the 2005-06 season.Carter, 33, was averaging just 15.8 points going into Monday night, heading for his first sub-20-point average since his rookie season."

You can find that story here.

Ben Q. Rock wrote an essay devoted to Vince Carter’s performance and discussed how difficult it has been for Orlando wing players to dominate offensively.

"Carter’s 48-point effort is his best since 2005, and he became the first perimeter Magic player to crack the 40-point barrier since his cousin Tracy McGrady last did it in 2004. Dwight Howard broke it twice, most recently in the clinching game of the Eastern Conference Finals last season in a show I was fortunate enough to witness live, and one that I’ll wind up telling my grandchildren about.Though Howard’s performance came in a game with higher stakes, I’d argue that Carter’s was more impressive. This wasn’t a game in which Orlando pounded away at New Orleans, and Carter simply padded his stats. Nope, the Magic needed every last one of those 48 points to pull out the victory. They gave him the ball on every possession, and he delivered. And with some tighter defense at the other end of the floor, it proved to be enough to give Orlando the win."

You can find that here.

Dwight Howard tells Josh Robbins that a player’s only meeting not only improved the team but it made Dwight Howard a better later.

"“We all told each other we have to be honest with each other,” Howard said. “When we’re out there playing and we’re in the locker room, don’t be afraid to tell the next man anything. We have to hold each other accountable.“When we’re not playing well and when we’re taking bad shots, we have to be able to talk to each other, be able to tell each other, ‘Yo, that was not a good shot at this time.’ Little things like that.”According to Howard, 13-year NBA veteran center Adonal Foyle spoke up during the meeting and asked Howard to be more serious.“I think it kind of helped me,” Howard explained. “It was sort of like a heart-to-heart with all the guys. Adonal said some things to me that I needed to hear. It’s something that I think just put me in the right position to lead this team. It was simple. He said, ‘In order for us to be successful, you’ve got to be that leader, vocal and by example on the floor, but also you have to have a respect of your teammates.’"

You can read more on that here.

Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy does not have an easy task in the All-Star game.

"Stan Van Gundy will have some playing-time decisions to make when he coaches in Sunday’s All-Star Game. Van Gundy has said Eastern Conference player will play at least 12 minutes, but he also will meet individually with players to see if they want fewer minutes because of nagging injuries.Van Gundy recently informed the Celtics that Boston coach Doc Rivers is welcome to contact him if Rivers has any injury concerns about PF Kevin Garnett and SF Paul Pierce.“You’re not looking to hurt anybody,” Van Gundy said. “And at the same time, I think obviously Kevin was voted into the game by the fans. Paul’s been a perennial all-star. Fans are gonna want to see those guys, so you can’t play them five or six minutes, particularly Kevin as a starter.”A Boston-based reporter relayed Van Gundy’s comment about Garnett to Rivers, who saw the opportunity for some humor.“I disagree with Stan 100 percent,” Rivers said. “I think the fans want to see Kevin for about 30 seconds, and then I really think they want to see Dwight Howard for 48 minutes, and LeBron [James] should play the entire game and Joe Johnson. I think those are the guys that deserve to play and should play.”"

Read that and other notes here.

HTD would also like to wish Jameer Nelson a Happy Birthday.

Dwight Howard talks about Vince Carter’s performance 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.)