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Orlando Magic pull out late victory against New Jersey Nets

November 13, 2010

The Orlando Magic narrowly defeated the New Jersey Nets tonight by a score of 91-90, as the Magic continue to struggle against inferior teams.  In a span of 20 seconds, Jameer Nelson went from Goat to Hero as he avenged two late missed free throws by going coast-to-coast to hit an extremely difficult fade-away baseline jumper which would give the Magic the win.  For 47 minutes and 56 seconds, the Magic did their best to let New Jersey win tonight’s game, but in the end, the Nets were still the Nets.  The Magic struggled again defensively and even more so from the offensive end of the ball.  The team shot only 41.6% from the field for the game and during the 2nd-4th quarters, the team shot only 33.9% from the field, going 19-56.  Defensively, the team improved as the game went on, but showed little “sense of urgency” until the 4th quarter.  The Nets shot 49.3% from the field, but they were out rebounded by the Magic 43-21.  The Magic also only turned the ball over 9 times tonight after losing it a combined 37 times in losses against the Jazz and Raptors.  Stan Van Gundy has preached over and over that the team must defend, rebound and take care of the ball if they are going to be successful.  Luckily, against the Nets, two out of three was enough to bring home the win.

More thoughts from tonight’s game after the jump:

  • While Dwight Howard led the Magic tonight with 16 points and 10 rebounds, Brandon Bass was the best player on the floor throughout the night.  Ba$$ finished with 14 points and 8 rebounds and most importantly, brought hustle and energy which the team continues to lack.
  • The Nets were led in scoring tonight by Devin Harris who finished with 26 points and 8 assists.  Brook Lopez, who struggled mightily during the Nets last game in Orlando, had a strong game finishing with 23 points.  Travis Outlaw also contributed 20 points.
  • The Magic starters struggled the whole game, but especially in the second quarter.  Although they played limited minutes, not a single starter scored for Orlando in the 2nd.  Coincidentally, the Nets closed that second quarter on an 11-0 run AGAINST the starters.
  • Rashard Lewis and J.J. Redick continue to struggle shooting the ball.  Come to think about it, “struggle” is putting it nicely.  Rashard finished with 8 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists in 30 minutes. 6 of those points came in the first 7 minutes.  J.J. was 1-7 and 0-4 from 3-point land. J.J. is now 3-25 from long range this year and his confidence clearly looks shaken.  The Magic need these two players to at least be mediocre, that’s not asking too much.

Final thought: The Magic struggled again tonight and won a game that they probably should not have won.  However, a win is a win and on back-to-backs, that’s all you can ask for.

The next Magic game is Monday night at home against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Brian Serra is a contributing blogger at Howard the Dunk and the founder of MagicBasketballOnline.com.  You can follow/add him on Twitter and on Facebook.

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