Magic 119, Nets 86
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP)—Even after the Orlando Magic’s best offensive game of the season, the talk in the winner’s locker room wasn’t about shooting and scoring.
The Magic had their highest point total and shot a season-best 62.5 percent in a 119-86 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Friday night. The 33-point margin of victory was their biggest this season, but the Magic insisted it wasn’t offense that created the rout.
“This game was all about defense and what we took away from them,” said Hedo Turkoglu, who led the Magic with 22 points. “We didn’t let New Jersey do what they wanted to do or go where they wanted to go and that led to some good things for us at the offensive end.”
Added point guard Jameer Nelson: “We took away just about everything they wanted to do and that’s what got our offense started.”
Nelson and Turkoglu were the primary defenders against Nets point guard Jason Kidd, holding the eight-time All-Star scoreless for the first time this season. Kidd missed all five shots from the field and finished with five assists and three rebounds in 25 minutes.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been involved in a game competing against or coaching Jason Kidd where he came out of it with no points,” Magic coach Brian Hill said. “Their offense really revolves around him and our guys did a good job with him tonight.”
Vince Carter led New Jersey with 25 points, but the Nets never got the deficit under 11 points after Dwight Howard’s dunk put the Magic up 24-13 with 1:01 left in the first quarter. Orlando led by as many as 36 points and New Jersey never got closer than 25 in the fourth quarter.
“They dominated us in every single aspect of the game,” Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. “You can describe it any way you want, but it was unacceptable. That is not the way we’re going to play.”
Howard had 19 points and nine rebounds, and Tony Battie added 11 points and tied his season high with 10 rebounds as the Magic won their second game in a row. Magic rookie J.J. Redick tied his season high with 13 points.
The Magic collected $12,500 in donations from fans to aid families affected by the tornado that killed 19 people early Friday morning in an area just north of Orlando. The Magic organization matched the donation, bringing the total to $25,000.
The Magic led by 22 points at halftime and were up 76-46 by the middle of the third quarter.
“From beginning to end, we did not put up a fight,” Carter said. “They made us pay for it and kicked our butt.”
Orlando set the tone early, shooting 60 percent in the first period while outscoring the Nets 29-15. Battie hit all four shots he took in the quarter and Turkoglu was 4-of-6 as the Magic got off to a torrid start.
It was more of the same in the second period, as Howard and Darko Milicic scored easily inside for the Magic, while Turkoglu and Nelson hit just as easily from the perimeter. Cliff Robinson nailed a 30-footer at the buzzer, but that left Orlando with a 59-37 halftime lead.
Magic F Grant Hill has a sprained right knee and will miss 2-3 weeks. … Orlando outrebounded New Jersey 47-22. … Kidd’s previous season low was five points Dec. 9 against Boston. … Battie has scored in double figures in back-to-back games for only the second time this season. … Nets rookie Josh Boone had a season-high 10 points. … Magic rookie James Augustine played for the first time this season. Augustine had two points and three rebounds in five minutes.