[Newark, NJ] Coming into tonight’s contest, the Orlando Magic (21-12) have been winners of 10 or their last 13 games and are currently sitting in the 3rd seed in the East. Their opponent tonight: The New Jersey Nets (10-24), who have had to play without their young stud center Brook Lopez for most of the season so far.
Saying that they are struggling would be a understatement. But he is back, playing in his second game of the season against the visitors. Losers of 10 or their last 12, could the Nets continue their one-game winning streak, or start another 10 game slide?
Starting tonight’s game, the Orlando Magic came out of the gate hot, thanks to a fast start from Jameer Nelson and Glen “Big Baby” Davis, both contributing 8 points in the first quarter. The Magic doubled up the hapless Nets, ending the first quarter 34-17.
Leading the Nets was Lopez (who had 7) – he’s the guy that is considered the center piece around a potential Dwight Howard-to-the-Nets trade.
The second quarter was no better for the struggling Nets. There is not much to say other than the Magic dominated this one, other than some solid play from star Nets PG Deron Williams. The Magic led at the half 58-41.
First half stand-outs: for the Orlando Magic it was Big Baby, who had 14. For the Nets, it was D. Williams with 11.
With the game already over at the half – and both teams knowing it – the third quarter was a complete wash, with both teams putting up 29 points. Other than some very solid play from Williams and Lopez not much was going on for the Nets.
Orlando Magic forward Glen “Big Baby” Davis pulls up for an outside fade-away jumper
The Magic on the other hand, saw some excellent team play. Through three, the Magic led 87-70. This one was actually painful to watch. I almost felt sorry for the New Jersey fans … almost.
Both teams put up 21 points in the fourth quarter and we got to see a lot of the 2nd and 3rd stringers from both teams. Not exactly an NBA barn-burner. The final score of tonight’s game was your Orlando Magic 108, the New Jersey Nets 91.
The Magic had 13 players play in this game and ten of them put up some points. Leading the way for the Magic was Dwight Howard, who managed 20 points and 17 boards in under 34 minutes. Big Baby had 16 while Ryan Anderson poured in 14 points and grabbed 9 boards.
Chris Duhon put up 11. Hedo Turkoglu and Jameer Nelson both scored 10. The Nets, on the other hand, were led by rookie sensation Marshon Brooks with 24 points, D. Williams with 23 points and 8 dimes. The mighty Brook Lopez finished with 15 points in his second game back.
Note: Sitting this one out was Jason Richardson with chest pains.
The Orlando Magic play their next game this Thursday against the Atlanta Hawks who are coming in on a 3-game slide. I expect this one to be close, but not too close. The Magic will win, especially with the way they are playing as of late.
My Prediction: The Magic 93, The Hawks 88.
PF: Slight Atlanta
By: Mike Yesenko/Sunshine Slate
Images: Orlando Magic