Magic Take Down 76ers 109-93

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The Orlando Magic overcame some early turnover issues and defensive lapses to defeat the Philadelphia 76ers 109-93, earning their 11th victory in their last 12 games and making the Magic 3-0 against the 76ers this season. Elton Brand was dominate early in the game but the Magic slowed him in the second half and he finished with 23 points and 6 rebounds. Rashard Lewis led the Magic with 24 points while Dwight Howard scored 23 points and grabbed 15 rebounds.

NBA

NBA Stats

NBA Stats

The Magic won this game because of their three-point shooting. The Magic had one of their best three-point shooting nights of the season, going 16-of-31 from beyond the arc. The 76ers made some timely three-pointers but were just 6-of-14 from downtown. Orlando outscored Philadelphia 48-18 from the three-point line and won the game by 16 points.

The Magic also shot the ball extremely well. They shot an effective field goal percentage (eFG) of 63.7%.

The Magic held the Sixers to just 46.4% eFG despite some stretches of poor defense.

The 76ers dominated the boards early on but the Magic gradually rebounded the ball better and better and wound up grabbed the same amount of rebounds as the 76ers did (40). Philadelphia dominated the offensive glass, grabbing 15 offensive boards, but had just one in the fourth quarter.

Orlando did not get off to a good start. They had several defensive lapses, couldn’t hold onto the ball, turning it over five times in the first quarter, and had no answer for Elton Brand, who scored 18 first quarter points and grabbed 6 first half rebounds. The Magic buckled down on Brand, holding him to 5 second half points and 0 rebounds. Samuel Dalembert also gave the Magic a lot of problems. They let him roam free, often not boxing him out and they paid for it. Dalembert scored 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting and grabbed 14 rebounds.

The performance of the Phildelphia big men prompted Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy to turn to his “twin towers” look, inserting Marcin Gortat into the game alongside Dwight Howard ater both Rashard Lewis and Brandon Bass were both very ineffective on the defensive end. This really helped the Magic frustrate Brand giving way for the Magic to turn a 53-47 lead late in the first half into a 65-51 lead with 10:25 to play in the third quarter. Orlando started the third quarter about as well as they could have possibly hoped. They made three three pointers on the first three possession, one by Matt Barnes and then two by Vince Carter.

Yet, the Magic could not put the 76ers away. Andre Iguodala, who had a quiet first half, scoring just 4 points, put up 13 points in the third quarter and allowed Philadelphia to cut a 14-point Magic lead to 71-67. Iguodala slashed to the hoop with ease on a few possessions, including making Matt Barnes look silly on one of his crossovers (but that could be partially a result of Barnes’ injured toe). The Magic answered with a Jameer Nelson three-pointer and pushed their lead back to 10 by the end of the quarter.

Orlando played their best defense of the game in the final quarter and came away with a 16-point win.

Rashard Lewis had an excellent night offensively for the third consecutive game. After averaging 22.0 points per game in his last two games, Lewis had 24 points on 8-of-12 shooting. Lewis hit three of his seven three-point attempts and did an excellent job of getting good looks closer to the basket. He was 5-of-5 on two-point jumpers and went 5-of-6 from the free throw line. Lewis also made some other good plays, including a key block late in the third quarter and a beautiful bounce pass in to Dwight Howard for a dunk in the fourth. Lewis’ energy is noticably higher as evidenced by his team-high 39 minutes.

Matt Barnes had a very good night for the Magic, shooting 100% eFG and 100% true shooting. He had 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting. He was 4-of-4 from beyond the arc and 2-of-2 from the free throw line.

Dwight Howard looked more liked the real Dwight Howard than the Dwight Howard we have seen in the last two games. He struggled from the free throw line, shooting just 5-of-12 from the stripe, but he was 9-of-11 from the field and scored 23 points. The Magic entered the game vowing to get the ball to Howard more often and in different spots and for the most part, they did a good job of that. Howard also grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds.

Vince Carter had some struggles, shooting just 4-of-11 from the field, but he got it done in other ways. Carter was aggressive and got to the free throw eight times, hitting seven. He also hit two big three-pointers early in the third quarter that helped Orlando push their lead to 14. Carter had 10 points in the third period. He also did a good job of getting his teammates involved, dishing out 5 assists without turning the ball over once.

Game Notes:

  • Orlando’s back up point guard and wings (Jason Williams, J.J. Redick, & Mickael Pietrus) did a good job off of the bench, combining to score 26 points.
  • Orlando had six players in double figures (Lewis 24, Howard 23, Carter 17, Barnes 14, Pietrus 10, Williams 10).
  • Orlando gave up 26 points in the paint in the first half, but just 18 in the second half.
  • After turning it over five times in the first quarter, Orlando had just seven turnovers throughout the rest of the game.
  • Matt Barnes was issued a technical foul in the game.
  • Jrue Holiday didn’t light up the scoreboard like he did three weeks ago, scoring just 7 points on 3-of-10 shooting, but he looked like more of a Point Guard. He dished out 7 assists for the 76ers.

Next Up: After playing in Jameer Nelson’s hometown, the Magic will head to Dwight Howard’s hometown of Atlanta to take on the Hawks on Wednesday night. The Magic are 3-0 against the Hawks this season.

Final Thought: The Magic struggle to defend the 76ers but because the offense comes so easy for them against Philadelphia, that shouldn’t come as a much of a surprise.

(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).