Jason Richardson Goes Ham, Magic Rally To Beat Bucks 99-94


At the conclusion of the game, Stan Van Gundy told reporters “it was the Jason Richardson show.” That’s an accurate description. Richardson scored 31 points, including 28 in the second half, and shot 9-of-11 from beyond the arc, including three three-pointers during a 16-0 fourth quarter run. That run erased a 10-point Bucks lead with just under six minutes left in the game.

Drew Gooden had 21 points to lead the Bucks while Ersan Ilyasova had 17 points and 16 rebounds.

The Magic looked tired and again had trouble getting much of anything going on offense in the fist half. At the midway point, the Magic were just 13-of-33 from the field, only hit five three-pointers, turned the ball over eight times and were dominated on the boards, especially on the offensive glass where Milwaukee grabbed 12 offensive rebounds to Orlando’s two. Orlando got timely shots and managed to get to the free throw line (where they went 12-of-15) keeping the lead at just six at the half.

Richardson started heating up in the second half and helped the Magic take a third quarter lead before seemingly falling back into a funk. Up three with 10:03 to go, the Magic let the Bucks reel off 13 straight points before Richardson ended the run by sinking a three-pointer with 4:54 to go. After two stops and a Jameer Nelson jumper, he drilled another three to cut the lead to two. On the next possession, Ryan Anderson pulled down a rebound off of a missed Hedo Turkoglu jumper, kicked the ball out to Richardson and he fired in another three, giving the Magic an 89-88 lead. Hedo Turkoglu hit another layup, then Richardson, bleeding and trying to exit the game after being hit on defense, hit his ninth and final three of the night to push the lead to six and essentially put the game away.

Aside from Richardson, it was a tough night for the Magic on offense. The rest of the team was just 6-of-26 from downtown and the Dwight Howard had an off night. The big man had just 11 points on 5-of-15 shooting. Of course, some credit should be given to the job Drew Gooden and the Bucks’ bigs did on Howard, but he missed a few shots he usually makes. It was simply an off-night and he still managed to pull down 14 rebounds and block four shots.

Hedo Turkoglu was one of the bright spots. After rejecting Stan Van Gundy’s proposal of a day of rest, Turkoglu turned in his best performance in some time. Although he still had two turnovers and took his share of bad shots, Turkoglu scored 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting, dished out six assists and grabbed five rebounds. He also aggressive, getting into the paint. Jameer Nelson didn’t have a great game (six points on 2-of-6 shooting, five assists), but like Turkoglu, it was good to see Nelson get into the paint.

  • J.J. Redick finished with 14 points and scored just two in the second half, but he did a great job of keeping the Magic afloat in what could have been a disaster off a first half. Redick had 12 points on 3-of-6 shooting in just 13 first half minutes. He did a great job of getting to the free throw line, where he knocked down all five attempts.
  • Ryan Anderson didn’t have another big scoring night (nine points, 3-of-8 shooting) or a big night on the glass (seven rebounds), but it seems like he is always battling and got one of the biggest rebounds of the game – the offensive board he kicked out to Richardson, who gave the Magic the lead for good at 89-88.
  • If you’re the Bucks you have to be extremely disappointed, but you have to like what you saw out of Drew Gooden and Ersan Ilyasova. Gooden, a former Magic forward, had 21 points and eight rebounds. That’s not easy to do when your matched up with Dwight Howard. He was able to knock down some open jumpers, but that’s not what was impressive. He really battled with Howard and gave him some trouble throughout the game. Ilyasova can really rebound the ball and is a pretty good shooter.

Next Up: The Magic will host the Minnesota Timberwolves Monday night.

Final Thought: The Magic were down 10 on the road with under six minutes left and won. Impressive.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN Florida’s Magic Insider (http://ESPNFlorida.com) and is the co-host of the ESPNFlorida.com 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)