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Orlando Magic News & Notes: Back To Back, Shaq’s Surgery

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Dwight Howard had a frustrating night but other Magic players stepped up to help the Magic get a 96-80 win over the Miami Heat.

John Denton pointed out Rashard Lewis as “the good” in Sunday’s win.

"He finished with 22 points on eight of 14 shooting with two 3-pointers and four free throws. Lewis was big on a night when the Magic needed major production out of him.“Sometimes you have to take it upon yourself to get going because we run a lot of our offense through Dwight and Vince,’’ Lewis said. “Sometimes I kind of find myself lost in the offense and I have to try and find something to get myself going.’’"

You can his postgame analysis here.

Marcin Gortat did a good job filling in for Dwight Howard.

"Gortat is Howard’s backup, and he had played sparingly with Howard on a tear. But he scored nine points, grabbed seven rebounds and blocked three shots in relief, playing 23 minutes.A significant storyline was that the Magic actually made a big lead hold up with Howard as a spectator.When they seized a 14-point lead with about four minutes remaining, the Heat figured they had the Magic right where they wanted them. The Magic blew an 18-point third-quarter lead in Friday’s loss to the Hornets. They had survived a scare in Houston, holding off the Rockets after establishing a 27-point cushion"

Brian Schmitz has the story here.

J.J. Redick closed the game out.

"He ran the offense at times during a 15-point, 3-assist game against the Heat on Sunday, doing it so well, in fact, that coach Stan Van Gundy kept Vince Carter on the bench while Redick closed.This was just one night. The Magic are absolutely going to need Carter, who finished with 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting. We will judge Vince and the trade and Otis Smith’s decision to bring him in during the playoffs.A night like Redick had is just more evidence that Smith put together as deep a team as we’ve seen here. Marcin Gortat had a nice game, filling in for Dwight Howard, who had foul trouble.I don’t know how Van Gundy is going to play them all in the playoffs, and he won’t."

You can read more about that here.

Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy attributes Orlando’s blown leads to a lack of focus.

"“It’s not that guys quit playing, but it’s a lack of focus,” coach Stan Van Gundy said.The Magic, for instance, committed five turnovers in the final six minutes of the third quarter against the Hornets. Those miscues helped New Orleans cut its 18-point deficit to eight points heading into the final period. The Hornets’ momentum grew from there.“We just can’t become complacent or satisfied,” Magic PG Jameer Nelson said. “If we go up by 10, we’ve got to want to go up by 20. That’s just something that’s inside of us. It’s not going to just happen. We have to go get it.”"

You can read that and other Magic notes here.

Dwyane Wade’s first game back offered mixed results.

"If Sunday yielded a bright spot for Miami, it was that Wade showed his typical explosiveness and quickness after a four-game layoff because of a strained left calf. Matched up against Orlando’s Matt Barnes or Mickael Pietrus, Wade nonetheless showed some rust as he finished with 21 points on 6-of-17 shooting and added five assists.Wade struggled down the stretch. He scored just four points in the second half and was held scoreless in the fourth quarter."

Josh Robbins has the story here.

Surya Fernandez of Hot Hot Heat doesn’t blame the loss on Wade.

"But these 2 latest losses can’t only just fall on his shoulders. The bench has been a non-factor. Quentin Richardson only scored 6 total points in both games, which is unacceptable when the Heat are starving for points with both of the team’s top scorers not being able to provide the usual heavy lifting (even if he did provide some hustle in other areas against the Magic). But what’s telling is that no Heat player in either game failed to produce a positive plus-minus impact in either the Bucks or the Magic game with the exception of one instance: Joel Anthony with a +1 in 10 minutes of work on Saturday. Jermaine O’Neal, Rafer Alston and Dorell Wright had their moments over the weekend but no combination of five Heat players were able to mount any consistent stretch of good ball."

You can read that story here.

Adrian Wojnarowski says the Shaquille O’Neal missing the regular season isn’t a big deal because he was brought in for a “super” battle with Dwight Howard.

"“It doesn’t hurt them, except for guarding Dwight Howard one-on-one in the post,” one Eastern Conference scout said Sunday night. “Otherwise, I guess we’ll just see him in May.”See you in May, Shaq. O’Neal has surgery on his right thumb Monday, and a source close to him told Yahoo! Sports he’ll be out six to eight weeks. Boston’s Glen Davis(notes) delivered a harsh hit on Thursday, and down went Shaq for the rest of the regular season. LeBron is delivering the most brilliant ball of his life, Mo Williams(notes) is making shots, Antawn Jamison(notes) is fitting fine and Anderson Varejao(notes) is playing his peskiest. Rest assured, center Zydrunas Ilgauskas(notes) will be back on March 22."

You can read that story here.

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