Archive for the ‘ Orlando Magic Blog ’ Category

Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard scored 16 points and grabbed 21 rebounds, Kobe Bryant chipped in with 19 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Chicago Bulls 90-81 Sunday.

The Lakers improved to 33-31, the first time this season they have been two games over .500. They also moved one-half game of the Utah Jazz and into sole possession of the No. 8 and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

The Lakers led almost throughout, only briefly falling behind by two points in the second quarter, and led by as many as 18 in the third period.

Steve Nash had 16 points for the Lakers.

Nate Robinson led the Bulls with 19 points, and Joakim Noah had 18 points and 17 rebounds…

After a sluggish first half by both teams, the Lakers came out hot to start the third quarter. Led by 10 points from Nash, Los Angeles went on a 21-7 run to begin the quarter, capped by a 3-pointer by Jodie Meeks that gave the Lakers a 65-47 lead. But the Bulls responded with an 8-0 spurt to narrow their deficit to 65-55…

Bryant took only three shots in the first quarter, going scoreless in the opening 12 minutes. Metta World Peace was cold as well, missing four open 3-pointers, but the Lakers held an early lead thanks to Howard’s efforts down low. Though he missed all three free throws he took in the quarter, Howard was 3 of 3 from the field for six points and grabbed seven rebounds.

– Reported by Joe Haakenson of the Associated Press

Dwight Howard

In the war of words between Dwight Howard and his former Orlando Magic teammates, one significant voice weighed in on the side of the Los Angeles Lakers center.

Howard said that his former Magic coach, Stan Van Gundy, reached out to him Thursday to offer support.

“He knows I would never disrespect my teammates,” said Howard after Lakers’ shootaround Friday in advance of their game against the Toronto Raptors. “He understood exactly what I was saying and that’s what he expressed.”

Howard expanded on the topic after the Lakers’ 118-116 overtime victory over the Raptors, saying, “Both of us, we know how great we were together. I’ve always told him, if we had a second run together, that would be great.

“I would always tell him what my goal was, I want to be one of the greatest to play and he would always push me to get there. So, I respect him.”

Van Gundy believes Howard wasn’t trying to bad-mouth any of his former teammates.

– Reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles

Game on the line, LeBron James knew he was going to get to the rim.

And he delivered.

James scored 26 points, including a go-ahead layup after getting past DeQuan Jones with 3.2 seconds left, and the Heat scrambled late to beat the Orlando Magic 97-96 on Wednesday night and extend their franchise-record winning streak to 16 games.

”I had no intention of shooting another jumper,” James said.

He missed a pair of 3-pointers about 90 seconds earlier, so he went for the 3-footer instead. From the right wing, James drove diagonally through the lane, then used his left hand - after all, he is left-handed - for the basket that won it for Miami. It was the first time he came up with what became a game-winning basket in the final five seconds of a game since a 3-pointer beat the Magic in the 2009 playoffs, according to STATS LLC…

Dwyane Wade scored 24 points on 10-for-16 shooting - he’s now shooting 62 percent in his last seven games - and Chris Bosh added 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Heat, who blew a 20-point, second-half lead and then rallied from a five-point deficit in the final minutes.

Nik Vucevic had 25 points and 21 rebounds for the Magic, who got 16 points apiece from Jameer Nelson and Tobias Harris, 13 from Arron Afflalo and 12 from Maurice Harkless…

The foul discrepancy in the game - 30 for the Magic, 17 by Miami - was a hot topic in the Orlando locker room afterward. The Magic went 10 for 12 from the foul line, Miami 27 of 31.

– Reported by Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press

Arron Afflalo bolted through a crowd of Hornets defenders as he angled toward the hoop, switching the ball from his left hand to his right to hit a layup Orlando needed to keep another game from slipping away.

Minutes later, he sank an 11-foot turnaround fade in the lane with Eric Gordon’s hand in his face - yet another clutch play that led the Magic to an unlikely comeback on the road.

Afflalo finished with a game-high 26 points, scoring five in the final 38 seconds, and Orlando snapped a three-game skid by erasing a 17-point, second-half deficit en route to a 105-102 victory over New Orleans on Monday night.

”It was great to see the guys feel it and get rewarded for their effort,” Magic coach Jacques Vaughn said. ”We get down 17 and still plug away and play each possession.”

Jameer Nelson, returning from a left knee injury that sidelined him six games, scored 15 points and Tobias Harris also scored 15 for Orlando, which erased a nine-point deficit during the final 3:15.

Afflalo scored 11 of his points in the fourth quarter. His late turnaround over Gordon gave Orlando the lead for good at 101-100 with 38 seconds left.

– Reported by Brett Martel of the Associated Press

ryan anderson

Ryan Anderson, whose New Orleans Hornets will host the Orlando Magic on Monday night, has added a new hobby since he joined his new team.

He’s an app tycoon.

Anderson helped fund an app available on the Apple and Android platforms called “Hide It! Head to Head Hidden Object Game,” which was created and developed by Straton Wilhelm, one of Anderson’s best friends.

The game launched in mid-December.

“I’m just really proud of my buddy, that he really put this thing together,” Anderson said. “This all came from one idea on a piece of paper.”

– Reported by Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel

Players were high-fiving and telling jokes in the giddy postgame locker room.

It was a rare and pleasant atmosphere for the Orlando Magic, especially on the road.

Arron Afflalo and Tobias Harris scored 16 points apiece and the Magic snapped a 10-game road losing streak with a 98-84 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday.

”It feels great,” said forward Maurice Harkless. ”Guys feel good about themselves and it shows what hard work can do. There are a lot of smiles around here for a change on the road.”

Andrew Nicholson contributed 13 and Nikola Vucevic had 12 points and 19 rebounds for the Magic (16-41), who hadn’t won on the road since Jan. 12 against the Los Angeles Clippers.

E’Twaun Moore had 12 points and a career-high 10 assists, while Harkless had 10 points for the Magic…

Damien Wilkins scored a season-high 14 points and Jeremy Pargo also had 14 for the 76ers. Dorell Wright had 11 and Evan Turner 10 for Philadelphia, which fell a season-worst 11 games under .500 at 22-33…

Orlando is also dealing with its share of injuries, but it was hardly evident on this night. It played without guard Jameer Nelson (left knee) and forwards Glen Davis (fractured left foot) and Hedo Turkoglu (NBA suspension).

– Reported by Andy Jasner of the Associated Press

beno udrih

In Orlando, Udrih already has a comfort level with coach Jacque Vaughn, who was his teammate in 2006-07 with the San Antonio Spurs.

“I’ve been here three days, and I’ve already felt more at home than I did in Milwaukee for a year and a half,” Udrih said Monday.

“It was just a bad situation there. I’m a professional and I’m a man, so I like to be told straight-up what they expect from me. So, in Milwaukee, that never happened. They were saying, ‘Yeah, yeah, we know. We’ve got to play you a little bit more.’ But it never happened. So when I did get into the game I didn’t know what they actually wanted to do, so I was just trying to find it myself, and I never did.”

“I wanted a change. I wanted a new start, so I’m really happy to be here. I know Jacque and J.B. [James Borrego], the assistant coach. It’s just a really exciting moment for me and my wife.”

– Reported by Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel

The trade of J.J. Redick, Gustavo Ayón and Ish Smith has had a cascade effect on the entire Orlando Magic roster, but perhaps it has impacted Maurice Harkless most of all.

Redick’s absence means Arron Afflalo will spend more time at shooting guard instead of shifting out of position to small forward.

And with Afflalo playing at small forward less often, that almost certainly will result in more minutes for Harkless, especially down the stretches of games.

“J.J. played a major role, and a lot of his minutes will probably come my way now,” Harkless said. “I just have to just take advantage of that and step up.”

From the beginning of this season, even when the team started with a 12-13 record, the Magic have tried to accelerate the development of the team’s youngest players — players such as Harkless and his fellow rookies, power forward Andrew Nicholson, center/power forward Kyle O’Quinn and wing DeQuan Jones.

– Reported by Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel

J.J. Redick speaks on move to Bucks

J.J. Redick speaks on move to Bucks

The 28-year-old Redick said Friday he is looking forward to his opportunity in Milwaukee after being acquired from Orlando in a trade-deadline deal Thursday.

“I have a great deal of respect for Brandon and Monta as players, two really dynamic guards,” Redick said during a news conference at the Cousins Center.

“And I actually think I fit well because I’m a guy who doesn’t need to have the basketball in his hands a lot. I don’t need a lot of touches necessarily; I don’t need a lot of dribbles. That’s not my game.

“I’ll continue to be who I am as a player and that’s just a quick decision-maker. Drive, pass, shoot, whatever it may be. But get off the ball and let those guys play to their strengths.”

Redick was acquired along with forward Gustavo Ayon and guard Ish Smith in exchange for Beno Udrih, Tobias Harris and Doron Lamb.

The Bucks had targeted Redick as a player who could help their perimeter shooting and provide a needed boost as they seek to secure an Eastern Conference playoff spot.

– Reported by Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

magic trade JJ Redick to Bucks

The Orlando Magic have acquired forward Tobias Harris, guard Doron Lamb and guard Beno Udrih from the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for guard J.J. Redick, forward-center Gustavo Ayón and guard Ish Smith, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today.

In addition, the Magic acquired forward Hakim Warrick and cash considerations from the Charlotte Bobcats in exchange for forward Josh McRoberts.  The Magic intend to waive Warrick.

“Tobias (Harris) and Doron (Lamb) are two young players who complement our current roster and have tremendous potential to grow with us,” Hennigan said.  “Tobias is a versatile forward that can play both forward positions, while Doron is a combo guard who helps fortify our backcourt with his shooting and ball-handling ability.  Beno (Udrih) is a proven point guard who adds veteran leadership and experience to our team.”

“J.J. (Redick) was a great contributor to the Orlando Magic during his time with our organization, both on the court and in the community.  We wish him, Gustavo (Ayón), Ish (Smith) and Josh (McRoberts) the best of luck in the future.”

Harris (6’8”, 226, 7/15/92) has played in 28 games this season with Milwaukee (14 starts), averaging 4.9 ppg. and 2.0 rpg. in 11.6 minpg.  He has scored in double figures six times this season, including a season-high 18 points on Nov. 2 @ Boston.

Originally selected in the first round (19th overall) by Charlotte in the 2011 NBA Draft, Harris has appeared in 70 career NBA regular season games (23 starts), all with Milwaukee, averaging 4.9 ppg. and 2.3 rpg. in 11.5 minpg.  Before turning pro, he played 34 games (33 starts) during his only season at the University of Tennessee (2010-11), averaging 15.3 ppg., 7.3 rpg. and 1.3 apg. in 29.2 minpg.  Harris was named Second Team All-SEC and to the All-SEC Freshman Team.

Lamb (6’4”, 210, 11/6/91) has played in 23 games this season with Milwaukee, averaging 3.4 ppg. in 12.2 minpg.  He has also appeared in six games (one start) with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League, averaging 10.3 ppg., 3.3 rpg. and 2.5 apg. in 25.5 minpg.

Originally selected in the second round (42nd overall) by Milwaukee in the 2012 NBA Draft, Lamb played 78 career games (49 starts) in two seasons at the University of Kentucky (2010-12), averaging 13.1 ppg., 2.3 rpg. and 1.6 apg. in 29.8 minpg., while shooting .475 (144-303) from three-point range.  He was named Second Team All-SEC in 2011-12 and helped the Wildcats capture the 2012 NCAA National Championship.

Udrih (6’3”, 203, 7/5/82) has played in 39 games this season with Milwaukee, averaging 6.7 ppg., 3.5 apg. and 2.0 rpg. in 18.4 minpg.  He has scored in double figures 11 times this season, including a season-high 18 points on Nov. 28 vs. New York.  Udrih has also dished out 10+ assists twice, including a season-high 11 assists on Jan. 29 @ Detroit.  He has led (or tied) the Bucks in scoring twice and in assists seven times.

Originally selected in the first round (28th overall) by San Antonio in the 2004 NBA Draft, Udrih has appeared in 601 career NBA regular season games (234 starts) with San Antonio, Sacramento and Milwaukee, averaging 9.1 ppg., 3.5 apg. and 2.2 rpg. in 23.4 minpg.  He has also played in 36 career playoff outings, averaging 2.9 ppg. in 8.6 minpg.  Udrih was a part of two NBA Championship teams with San Antonio in 2005 and 2007.

Redick has played in 50 games this season with Orlando (11 starts), averaging 15.1 ppg., 4.4 apg. and 2.4 rpg. in 31.5 minpg.  Originally selected in the first round (11th overall) by Orlando in the 2006 NBA Draft, he has appeared in 396 career NBA regular season games, all with Orlando, averaging 9.2 ppg., 1.9 apg. and 1.8 rpg. in 21.9 minpg., while shooting .398 (549-1,381) from three-point range and .878 (723-823) from the free throw line.

Ayón has played in 43 games this season with Orlando (three starts), averaging 3.6 ppg., 3.3 rpg. and 1.4 apg. in 13.3 minpg.  McRoberts has played in 41 games this season with the Magic (three starts), averaging 3.9 ppg., 3.3 rpg. and 1.7 apg. in 16.7 minpg.  Smith has appeared in 36 games this season with Orlando (three starts), averaging 2.4 ppg., 1.6 apg. and 1.3 rpg. in 10.5 minpg.

Magic trade Josh McRoberts to Bobcats for Hakim Warrick

Charlotte Bobcats President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins announced today that the team has acquired forward Josh McRoberts from the Orlando Magic in exchange for forward Hakim Warrick. McRoberts will wear No. 11. The Bobcats roster remains at 14 players.

“Josh McRoberts is a quality young big man who can play either post position for us,” Higgins said. “We look forward to adding his size and energy to our rotation.”

Currently in his sixth NBA season, the 6-10 McRoberts has career averages of 4.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists, along with a career field goal percentage of .496 (444-896), in 246 games played for the Trail Blazers, Pacers, Lakers and Magic. In 41 games for Orlando this season, he averaged 3.9 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 16.7 minutes. Earlier this season he posted career highs of 14 rebounds on Nov. 25 against Boston and eight assists on Jan. 7 at Portland.

McRoberts was originally selected with the 37th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Trail Blazers after two years at Duke University, where he was a teammate of Bobcats guard Gerald Henderson during the 2006-07 season. He had his best overall season in 2010-11, when he averaged career highs of 7.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 22.2 minutes in 72 games played for the Pacers, including 51 starts.

Warrick was acquired by the Bobcats from New Orleans on November 13, 2012, in exchange for Matt Carroll. He appeared in 27 games for the Bobcats, including 14 starts, and averaged 7.0 points and 3.3 rebounds in 17.9 minutes.

Magic guard Jameer Nelson has knee strain

Jameer Nelson has been diagnosed as having a strained patellar tendon in his left knee, Orlando Magic officials announced today.

The team would not specify the severity of the strain, whether the tendon was stretched or torn. But officials said Nelson’s injury will be evaluated further when he accompanies the team back to Central Florida following its road game Friday night against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Nelson hurt his knee late in the Magic’s 111-96 loss Wednesday night to the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center.

Nelson suffered the injury as he drove against Darren Collison and attempted to stop quickly. Nelson crumpled to the floor, and Collison forced a jump ball.

– Reported by Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel (Blog)

dwight howard

If Dwight Howard knew then what he knows now, he would probably still be with the Orlando Magic.

Or so says ESPN and ABC analyst Jeff Van Gundy, who says Howard’s struggles with the dysfunctional Los Angles Lakers probably makes him pine for his glory days in Orlando.

“I think he thought he wanted a big market, but I think what he’s realizing is that he needs a smaller environment where the fans and media overlook whatever weaknesses he has,” Jeff said on our Open Mike radio show. “He had it great in Orlando, and I think only after you leave do you realize just how good you had it. Unfortunately, you can’t go back home again.

“Those years in Orlando, you could have made the case that no one was more valuable to a team than Dwight Howard was to the Magic. That guy could have been the MVP a couple of times and should have gotten stronger consideration for what he accomplished. For whatever reason, I think he’s lost his way.”

– By Mike Bianchi, columnist for the Orlando Sentinel

Josh Smith

Josh Smith had 30 points and 10 rebounds and Al Horford added 26 points and 12 rebounds as the Atlanta Hawks blew past the Orlando Magic 108-76 on Wednesday night.

The Hawks led by as many as 38 points and decimated the Magic defense on the way to earning their ninth consecutive regular-season win over their division rivals.

Jameer Nelson and Andrew Nicholson led the Magic with 10 points apiece. No other Orlando players reached double-figures.

The Magic have now lost 24 of their last 27 games.

It was the last game for both teams before the All-Star break. Orlando heads to Charlotte on Feb. 19 and Atlanta next plays at Miami on Feb. 20.

Horford and Smith scored at will both inside and from the outside, and had a combined point total that equaled the Magic’s team total after three quarters…

The Hawks’ started the game just 1 for 10 from the field and had just a six-point cushion after one. They erupted in the second, though, outscoring the Magic 32-17 as they built a 21-point halftime lead…

Horford and Smith combined for 30 points and 17 rebounds in the half, just a shade under the 36 points and 18 rebounds the Magic had as a team.

– Reported by Kyle Hightower of the Associated Press

Hedo Turkoglu of the Orlando Magic has been suspended without pay for twenty games for violating the terms of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program by testing positive for methenolone, it was announced today by the NBA.

Turkoglu’s suspension will begin tonight when the Magic play host to the Atlanta Hawks at Amway Center.

Statement from Turkoglu: “While I was back home in Turkey this past summer, I was given a medication by my trainer to help recover more quickly from a shoulder injury.  I didn’t know that this was a banned substance and didn’t check before taking it. “I take full responsibility for anything that goes into my body. This was a complete error in judgment on my part and I apologize to the Orlando Magic organization, the league, my teammates, and the Magic fans. I know I have let down a lot of people and I am truly sorry for my mistake.”

Statement from Orlando Magic General Manager Rob Hennigan: “Hedo unknowingly took a banned substance. There are more than 125 banned substances on the NBA List, and we spend a lot of time educating our players on the contents of that list and will certainly continue to do so moving forward. We believe this was an honest mistake.”

According to the Associated Press, “Turkoglu is making about $11.8 million this season. He has one more year remaining on his current deal. He was picked as the NBA’s most improved player in 2008 while with Orlando.”

jj redick

J.J. Redick scored 22 points, Nikola Vucevic added 17 points and 19 rebounds, and the Orlando Magic snapped a 12-game losing streak with a 110-104 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday night.

The Magic shot 50 percent from the field in earning their first win since Jan. 16. They play their next two games at home. Reserve Gustavo Ayon had 16 points and 11 rebounds for Orlando.

LaMarcus Aldridge led Portland with 25 points. Nicolas Batum added 19 points and Wesley Matthews chipped in 17.

The Blazers, who have lost three in a row overall, fell to 1-7 in their last eight road games. They play at Miami on Tuesday and New Orleans on Wednesday before the All-Star break.

Orlando held a 79-72 lead entering the final quarter but had to push back against multiple attempts at a run by the Blazers down the stretch…

Orlando is the second straight opponent to shoot at least 50 percent against Portland…

Magic F Hedo Turkoglu missed his third straight game with flu-like symptoms.

– Reported by Kyle Hightower of the Associated Press

thaddeus young

Thaddeus Young pounded his fist on the court in agony, his all-out dive for a loose ball too much for his left hamstring.

Young was out for the game - and the 76ers’ top rebounder could be out for two weeks.

His injury knocked the wind out of the Sixers on a night they matched their season-high tying three-game win streak. Spencer Hawes had 21 points and 14 rebounds and Jrue Holiday had 13 points and 14 assists to lead Philadelphia to a 78-61 win over the short-handed Orlando Magic on Monday night.

”This is a game you’re supposed to win,” coach Doug Collins said. ”But it’s a big loss with Thad.” …

Nick Young had 15 points to help the Sixers win three straight games for the first time since the final three games of November. Hawes and Young both scored big buckets during a 14-1 run in the third quarter that helped the Sixers put away the undermanned Magic.

Orlando listed six players as inactive in its 10th straight loss. E’Twaun Moore had 18 points and Nik Vucevic grabbed 14 rebounds…

The Magic had six players out, notably leading scorer Arron Afflalo (strained left calf), Jameer Nelson (bruised left forearm), J.J. Redick (sore right shoulder) and Glen Davis (broken left foot). DeQuan Jones (sore left foot) and Al Harrington (right knee) also sat out.

Orlando started Moore and Ish Smith in the backcourt and Vucevic, Josh McRoberts and Maurice Harkless in the frontcourt.

– Reported by Dan Gelston of the Associated Press

glen davis

For much of Wednesday, the Orlando Magic displayed the kind of grit and resiliency that head coach Jacque Vaughn has grown to love about this team. Guards Jameer Nelson and J.J. Redick carried the offense, while the defense did its best to slow New York superstar Carmelo Anthony.

But as the game wore on, a devastating injury to Glen “Big Baby’’ Davis further sabotaged the short-handed Magic, and attrition and a talent deficit won out, resulting in another lost night for Orlando.

Despite red-hot shooting and valiant efforts from Nelson and Redick, the Magic couldn’t keep pace with the Knicks more than a half, again gave up a flurry of fourth-quarter 3-pointers and lost 113-97 to New York.

Davis, who was in the midst of his finest season as a pro, was likely lost for the rest of the season when he fractured his left foot early in the game. The team found out about the news of the crippling injury midway through Wednesday’s game, sapping the life out of the squad.

– Reported by John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com

demar derozan

DeMar DeRozan swished a fadeaway jumper at the buzzer as the Toronto Raptors fought off a late-game charge by the Orlando Magic to earn a 97-95 victory on Thursday night.

It was a wild offensive night on both ends, featuring 12 lead changes and 12 players reaching double figures.

DeRozan led Toronto with 22 points, followed by Amir Johnson with 21 points and 10 rebounds. It was Johnson’s sixth double-double of the season.

The victory gave the Raptors a four-game season sweep of Magic, who dropped their fourth game in a row.

Nikola Vucevic led Orlando with 19 points and 14 rebounds. Arron Afflalo added 16 points and Glen Davis had 15.

The Magic have lost 15 of their last 17 overall. They host Detroit on Sunday…

After three of their previous four games went to overtime, the Raptors found themselves in another close game late.

– Reported by Kyle Hightower of the Associated Press

shawn marion

Shawn Marion had 20 points, and O.J. Mayo and Vince Carter scored 15 apiece as the Dallas Mavericks fought off a late Orlando surge and beat the Magic 111-105 on Sunday night.

The Mavericks led by 13 in the fourth quarter, before the Magic pulled within a basket in the final minute.

Dallas earned its seventh straight road victory in its series against Orlando. The Mavericks now have five days off before hosting division-leader San Antonio on Friday.

Glen Davis led Orlando with 24 points, followed by Jameer Nelson with 20 and J. J. Redick’s 18.

The Magic have lost three of their last four games and also fell for the seventh straight time to an opponent with a sub-.500 record.

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said Dirk Nowitzki, who played in his 15th game following offseason knee surgery, may need until February to get back to full strength.

The former MVP finished with 12 points and seven rebounds. He scored six points in the first half, but was active with some early assists as Dallas built a small cushion after digging out of an early hole…

Davis was whistled for a technical foul with 9:31 left in the third quarter.

– Reported by Kyle Hightower of the Associated Press

Basketball blog