Magic Dominate Clippers, Win Sixth Straight


The Orlando Magic dominated the Los Angeles Clippers from start to finish. They took a 10-point lead at the end of the first quarter and never looked back, building a 26-point halftime lead and eventually won the game 113-87. Dwight Howard, who didn’t come out of the game until he already played 32 minutes, sat out the last 16 minutes and still finished with 22 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks. Jameer Nelson had 17 points, 8 assists and 5 rebounds. Baron Davis led the Clippers with 16 points.

NBA Stats

The Magic blew out the Clippers, which was impressive because although the Clippers aren’t a very good team, teams often have hangovers after getting a big win like the Magic did against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday. That was obviously not the case on Tuesday night. The Magic also didn’t let their large lead slip away even when the backups came in to close things out. Often, the Magic let those big leads slip away and the level of the competition doesn’t matter (see the Wizards game), but on Tuesday night, they did not.

It was a great team effort for the Magic but as usual, Dwight Howard was the star. Howard played the first 32 minutes of the game before exiting for good when Marcin Gortat checked in. Howard scored 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting. He also had 15 rebounds and 3 assists and blocked 2 shots. Howard’s hook shot was really rolling and he had some other highlight-reel plays. On one play, after a Brandon Bass block, Howard got the ball, went coast-to-coast, crossed over a defender and hit Brandon Bass for an open dunk. Howard had another pretty pass in the second quarter when he found a cutting Mickael Pietrus for a dunk. Howard also did an excellent job on All-Star Center Chris Kaman. Howard made it difficult for Kaman all night. Kaman finished with 12 points on 6-of-11 shooting and grabbed 6 rebounds, both well under his season averages.

Orlando’s backcourt continued to play excellent basketball. The most impressive number of the night may have been the assist-to-turnover ratio of that backcourt. Jameer Nelson and Vince Carter combined for 13 assists and 0 turnovers. The duo also shot 5-of-8 from beyond the arc. Nelson also scored 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting and grabbed 5 rebounds as he further tries to prove that he is a “rebounding machine.” Carter scored 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting. You have to be impressed with how much more comfortable Carter is in the offense right now. He has really found his place and once again on Tuesday night, he made smart decisions and got his teammates involved.

Brandon Bass played very well. He was very active on defense, nearly broke up a lob play (but was called for a foul) and even had a great block of a three-point attempt that started Howard’s fast break. Bass also ran the floor very well and got a dunk on the play. Van Gundy thought that Bass just brought great energy all game long. He finished with 8 points, 5 rebounds and a block.

Game Notes:

  • Orlando turned the ball over just 8 times – they had 20 turnovers on Sunday.
  • Rashard Lewis had a good night, scoring 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting.
  • J.J. Redick was 0-of-4 on two-pointers but was 3-of-4 on three-pointers. He finished with 10 points.
  • 11 Magic players scored.
  • Six Magic players scored in double figures.
  • The last time Orlando beat the Clippers, it was also their sixth consecutive win.
  • Orlando had 48 points in the paint to LA’s 30.
  • There were only 18 total fouls called.
  • Orlando’s bench scored 36 points. The Clippers’ bench scored 38 points but that was largely due to Baron Davis’ 16 points. Davis also had 9 assists.

Next Up: The Magic will host the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night.

Final Thought: The Magic had good energy all night and protected a big lead. Both are encouraging signs.

(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).