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Orlando Magic News & Notes: Blazers Reactions


The Orlando Magic held off a fourth quarter rally and defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 107-104 on Wednesday night.

It’s never easy to win in Portland, writes John Denton of

"Portland (7-3) came into the game as one of only two teams 6-0 at home, but it was no match for a Magic team that made 14 of its first 22 3-pointers and shot better than 60 percent from beyond the arc most of the night. For the game, the Magic made 16 3-pointers and had 25 assists on their 41 baskets.Orlando (7-3) came into Wednesday having beaten six teams with losing records that all failed to make the playoffs last season. Several Magic players, especially Redick, called the game against Portland a statement game for the Magic, and they certainly made a bold proclamation with their play Wednesday night."

Brian Serra discusses what Orlando did right:

"Brilliant ball movement and extremely hot shooting, allowed 7 of the 8 Magic rotation players to score in double figures. The Magic made 14 three-pointers through 3 quarters and most of those made 3′s came off dribble penetration and extra passes in the half court offense. Ball movement and getting everyone involved in the scoring has been a consistent struggle for Orlando this season."

Philip Rossman-Reich of Orlando Magic Daily says the end of the game was all about Hedo Turkoglu:

"The end was going to be all about Hedo Turkoglu.Turkoglu scored five unanswered points to push a late three-point Magic lead to eight. He drove into the paint for an easy layup as the defense sagged toward Howard to cover him. Then Turkoglu pulled up for a 3-pointer after getting free on a pick and roll with Howard. They were not the prettiest shots."

Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post talks about Portland’s comeback:

"But the Magic didn’t maintain that momentum for all the second half, though they did enter the fourth period with a 17-point advantage. Perhaps because the three-ball had been so kind to them, the Magic looked to involve Dwight Howard more and more in their offense. That means someone makes a post-entry pass and stands there, while three other players also stand in place. Howard then takes a bunch of dribbles and puts up a hook of some kind, maybe even drawing a foul."

Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel recaps the victory:

"“It was just me looking for the best opportunity,” Turkoglu said. “I was just reading the defense. They kind of play in-between. They knew always that I’m going to pass for Dwight. They just kind of stayed back and I’d seen the opening and I just drived.”On the Magic’s next possession, Turkoglu swished a step-back 3-pointer.“Those were huge,” Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. “We were dying, and then we went to him twice and ended up with five points. Huge. Those were, to me, the game-winners right there.”"

Ben Golliver of Blazer’s Edge has some interesting notes in his Media Row Report:

"Out of rhythm or not, Howard was jokey, relaxed, patient and seemingly content afterwards, not at all what you would expect from a superstar who has reportedly requested a trade and whose name has been in daily rumors for months. Indeed, Howard’s mood was night-and-day from last year, when he said the Magic “folded” during a double-digit Portland victory and seemed beyond frustrated playing for a team that was struggling at the time. This year, he spoke about trying to win a title with the Magic in a lockout-shortened season.“I’m happy that our team is playing great basketball,” Howard said. “We’ve just got to continue to play that way for us to win. We’re in a unique situation and we have an opportunity with this short season to win a championship. That’s the only thing I want to accomplish.”"

Mike Acker of Rip City Project discusses Orlando’s performance:

"You want to look at a nice box score? Check out Orlando’s. Nine guys played, eight guys scored (everybody but former Blazer Von Wafer who played only three minutes and got called for charging on his one drive to the hoop), seven guys reached double figures, four guys took nine shots, three guys took 11, basically every player aside from Chris Duhon and the aforementioned Wafer had the same shooting percentage (Duhon hit his only shot attempt and it was, of course, a three). Probably the most balanced box score I have ever seen. One number does stand out though: Dwight Howard 3-of-12 from the free throw line. Ouch. Portland should have really fouled him every time he even looked at the rim."

Rob Simonsen of Portland Roundball Society talks about Orlando’s early offensive effort (He also has postgame video of Dwight Howard):

"That is putting it mildly. Portland had no answer for Orlando’s pick and roll offense, no weak side help on defense, and were late to close out on every long jumper. The Magic were able to bury eleven (wide open) three-pointers in the first half alone. Portland’s previous high of threes allowed in an entire game was eight."

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN Florida’s Magic Insider ( and is the co-host of the Insiders Show Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him onTwitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here)