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Fan Reaction: Dwight Howard Scores 36 Points, but Goes 4 Out of 14 from the Line
Coming off a home win against Milwaukee, Orlando traveled to Toronto to take on the Raptors at the Air Canada Center. Here is how the game broke down.
Though it was a back and forth quarter in which neither team gained a substantial lead, 5 points by backup guard J,J, Redick in the last 1:20 worth of play put Orlando up by three at period's end. Dwight Howard made the most of his time on the floor, scoring 10 points for the Magic, however on the boards, Toronto's Aaron Gray was battled the Magic center well, pulling down five rebounds against the NBA's rebound leader. Magic 23 - Raptors 20.
Orlando would shoot well over the first half of the game, though their shooting from the foul line left something to be desired for as the team only hit 2 out of the 8 shots they took during the first two periods. For Orlando the quarter started with two buckets from Ryan Anderson, one from Glen Davis and a 3-pointer from backup Chris Duhon; all which served to stretch the lead to eight points with a little less than eight minutes to play in the half. Howard would add 6 points in the latter part of the period, and a 3-pointer from Redick took the lead to five. Magic 48 - Raptors 43
Good ball movement by Orlando late in the quarter got them back on track after they had squandered a seven point lead half way through the period. Howard got Orlando going with a bucket at the 5:35 mark, and would add 13 points to his first half totals in the quarter. Jameer Nelson also contributed 5 points in the latter part of the period and Orlando went into the fourth quarter with a five point lead. Magic 68 - Raptors 63
Toronto drew first blood with Jerryd Bayless cutting the lead to one with 4 points to open the period, but 6 straight points by Anderson in a 33 second span would put Orlando up by seven. Toronto would make another run at it and the game was back within two with 8:17 to play when Orlando called a timeout. Orlando's offense would then surge to a nine point lead with three minutes to left to play, but the knockout punch never came and Toronto was back within four with 1:20 left to play. A big 3-pointer from Redick would just about seal it up for Orlando, but Toronto would counter with three of their own and the game came down to Redick at the foul line. The Duke grad easily sank them both shots and Orlando escaped with a narrow victory. Magic 92 - Raptors 88
Dwight Howard had a good night from the floor hitting 16 out of 20 shots. He would finish with 36 points and 13 rebounds, though his free throw shooting was something else as the big man hit only 4 out of 14 from the line.Ryan Anderson was equally impressive adding 19 points and 13 rebounds. Still other than Redick who scored 13 points, the bench remains subpar for Orlando who only got another 5 out of their subs. One has to wonder if GM Otis Smith intends to do anything about Orlando's bench this season, as these subs will not cut it in the playoffs. Overall, the game was too close for anyone's liking and Howard still has to prove he can sink free throws or other teams will keep hacking him late in the game. On the plus side, Orlando was able to move the ball well, with Turkoglu, Redick and Nelson all collecting 6 or more assists a piece.
About this writer: A resident of Orlando, FL, the writer has been a fan of the Orlando Magic since their inaugural season in the NBA. The writer lists Scott Skiles and Hedo Turkoglu among his all-time favorite Magic players.
Source: Fox Florida Sports Live Television Broadcast, Monday 3/5/2012, 7 p.m.
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