Magic Fall To Clippers In Overtime 107-102


The Orlando Magic couldn’t have asked for a better start Monday night. They raced out to a 30-15 in the first quarter, but saw the lead begin to slip away with a 6-0 Clippers run to close the quarter out. The Clippers trailed by just three at the half before dominating the third quarter. They pushed the lead to as many as nine in the fourth quarter before the Magic, mostly behind the 1/5 pick-and-roll with Jameer Nelson and Dwight Howard were able to take a one-point lead. After Blake Griffin made just one of two free throws, the Magic got the ball back with 22 seconds left. Jameer Nelson’s jumper rimmed out and Mo Williams missed on the other end, sending the game into over time. The Magic used back-to-back three-pointers to take a four-point lead, but turnovers and their inability to grab a rebound ultimately doomed them. The Clippers came away with a 107-102 victory.

Dwight Howard had 33 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Magic while Chris Paul finished with 29 points and eight assists.

The Clippers were really able to exploit Orlando’s defense, especially in the second half, with Chris Paul running the pick-and-roll. Stan Van Gundy took the balame for Orlando’s defese.

“I didn’t do a damn thing to help them,” Van Gundy said after the game.

To be fair, there probably wasn’t much Van Gundy could do to stop Paul, who was 9-of-16 from the field and also grabbed seven rebounds.

“We tried a couple of different things, but obviously we didn’t have them ready for it because we were not good against it at all,” Van Gundy added.

Blake Griffin and Chauncey Billups scored 18 each for the Clippers while Caron Butler added 14. Billups went down in the second half and many in the Clippers locker room speculated that he tore his achilles and could be done for the season.

Orlando got an excellent game out of Jameer Nelson, who returned from his concussion Monday night. Nelson was great in the pick-and-roll and was probably more aggressive than he has been all season. Nelson didn’t shoot the ball all that well (5-of-13) from the field, but he scored 15 points and dished out 12 assists while turning the ball over three times. Van Gundy praised Nelson’s play and defended his shot selections, saying the media only calls his shots bad shots “because he didn’t make them.”

Jason Richardson also continued his fine play as of late. He saw a three-pointer that would have tied the game in overtime rim out and he was clearly upset about that. However, for the third consecutive game Richardson was aggressive and smart with the ball. Richardson had 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting.

Hedo Turkoglu was noticeably absent down the stretch. Van Gundy said “he just wasn’t playing well” and he didn’t put him back in because “J.J., J-Rich and Q were all playing better than him.” Turkoglu finished with no points on 0-of-6 shooting.

Although he didn’t score in overtime, Dwight Howard was phenomenal. He scored 33 points on 15-of-21 shooting, grabbed 14 rebounds, had a highlight-reel block on Griffin and fouled out both DeAndre Jordan and Reggie Evans.

  • Van Gundy praised Glen Davis’s defense of Blake Griffin, calling it “outstanding.”
  • You don’t often see a team take and make more three-pointers than the Magic, but it happened Monday. Los Angeles was 13-of-31 from beyond the arc while the Magic were 11-of-30.
  • Orlando’s inability to come up with big rebounds killed them again. The Magic were out rebounded 46-37 and allowed the Clippers to grab two offensive rebounds while the Magic trailed by just one with less than a minute to go.

Next Up: It doesn’t get any easier as the Magic host the Miami Heat Wednesday night.

Final Thought: There have been some bad basketball games at the Amway Center this season. This certainly wasn’t one of them.

(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)