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Orlando Magic News & Notes: Vince Carter Reaches 50 Wins, Mickael Pietrus Has A “Miracle Recovery”


The Orlando Magic defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 109-93 on Monday night to win for the 11th time in their last 12 games.

It was Orlando’s 50th win of the season.

"The Magic made sure of win No. 50 on Monday night with another dynamic offensive performance against the Sixers. It was just two weeks ago that Orlando scored 126 against Philly, and they weren’t very far off that pace on Monday.Rashard Lewis remained red hot with 24 points and three 3-pointers, while Howard contributed 23 points, 15 rebounds, two blocks and zero technical fouls. Vince Carter, a member of a 50-win team for the first time in his 12-year NBA career, scored 17 points. And Matt Barnes (14 points) made all four of his 3-point shots to help the Magic make 16 of 31 3-pointers (51.6 percent).“Dwight is dominant in the paint, Vince is playing well and we’re moving the ball around and everybody is contributing,’’ Lewis said. “That’s what we’re going to need in the playoffs. We’ll need everybody’s full support, not just one or two guys doing it all.’’"

You can read John Denton’s postgame analysis here.

Brian Schmitz takes a look at some of the numbers from after Monday’s game.

"50: Number of victories the Magic (50-21) reached this season with the win.3: Consecutive seasons in which the Magic have recorded 50 wins, all under coach Stan Van Gundy. They won 52 and 59 games the previous two seasons.1: Seasons in which veteran Vince Carter has been on a 50-win team — hard as that is to believe."

You can read that story here.

Mickael Pietrus unexpectedly played in Monday’s game.

"“A miracle recovery,” coach Stan Van Gundy said. “I have no idea. Usually, the player makes the call. Sometimes, the doctors do. It’s usually the pain they do or do not have.”Pietrus twisted his ankle last Wednesday night against the San Antonio Spurs and sat out the game against the Miami Heat on Thursday.“It’s still sore. I wanted to play,” Pietrus said. “We got like 10 games left [actually, 11] and the playoffs are right around the corner. We need everybody. It still hurts. It’s all about sacrifice.”Van Gundy said it was good to have a full roster again. He said it was “helpful” to have Pietrus return to lessen starting SF Matt Barnes’ workload. Barnes has been bothered by a sprained left big toe."

You can find that story here.

Liberty Ballers offers their thoughts on the game.

"Orlando took care of Ed tonight like any good team should, by winning every single quarter, even using Ricko’s 25+ per quarter formula. (And yes, I’m aware I write about Ricko too much, getoverit.) They still didn’t get the ball into Dwight Howard as much as they should because a few more catches in the paint fouls both Elton Brand and Samuel Dalembert out, relegating the defensive assignment to Jason Smith and Marreese Speights. What you’re hearing right now is Stan Van Gundy laughing. Sammy played relatively well on him and would’ve been even more effective if he didn’t have to ease up with his 5 fouls. 6-7 from the field with 7 trips to the line, and 14 rebounds. While I’m commending big men, Elton played solid and while his offense is limited to midrange jumpshots and other compound words, 23, 6 and 3 is a great night for him nowadays. And his 3 assists — holy cow somebody call the mayor."

You can find that story here.

The Magic were just too much for the Sixers.

"No matter how almost-dominant the Sixers’ post presence seemed, they managed only to keep pace with Howard, who had 13 points and 10 rebounds by halftime. Coupled with Orlando forward Matt Barnes and Rashard Lewis, who scored nine points each and missed only two shots between them in the half, the Magic seemed unbeatable."

Kate Fagan of the Philadelphia Inquirer has that story here.

Dan Savage and Josh Cohen preview the week ahead 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).