By John Denton
October 19, 2012

ORLANDO – Asked Friday morning just how much he wanted to get a taste of his first victory as a NBA coach, Jacque Vaughn made an analogy about not having a meal at his favorite burger joint in months, but still remembering exactly how the burgers tasted.

Four games into the preseason, Vaughn had primarily put the good of the Orlando Magic ahead of his own personal gain, resting veteran players and giving the rookies some much-needed playing time. And rather than tasting a victory, he had to rely on his memory – a la the burger analogy.

On Friday night, the Magic’s veteran players took matters into their own hands, moving the ball crisply around the perimeter and making several efforts defensively, to ensure that Vaughn would finally get his first taste of winning as a head coach in the NBA.

Orlando got 21 points from Glen ``Big Baby’’ Davis, 15 from Jameer Nelson and another eight assists from J.J. Redick in a 112-96 rout of Indiana for Vaughn’s first coaching victory with the Magic.

``Oh my gosh, you don’t understand how bad we want this game tonight,’’ Davis said of wanting to win for Vaughn. ``The culture here that we’re trying to build is winning and I don’t care if it’s preseason, we’re trying to win. Tonight was a good night for us on every side of the ball. We have a way to go as far as learning the game, but today was a good day for us.’’

Vaughn, the youngest head coach in the NBA at 37 years old, is in his first season as a head coach after playing in the NBA for 12 years and serving as an assistant for two years in San Antonio. His first coaching victory likely could have come two weeks earlier, but Vaughn rested his starters in the second half against New Orleans, in overtime versus Cleveland and all together on Tuesday in Detroit.

After Friday’s first win, Vaughn was eager to put more of the focus on the way the Magic play than any individual accomplishment of his own.

``It feels good that the team played well,’’ Vaughn said. ``We had 30 assists and guys really played with and for one another. That, for me, was the best part of the night. We were committed on defense and committed to sharing the basketball and that was fun to watch.’’

The Magic (1-4) left little doubt on Friday night that they were on a mission to win one for Vaughn. They led 49-41 at the half and broke the game open in the third quarter with some stellar inside play from Davis and hot shooting from the outside from Nelson and Redick. Through three quarters, Orlando was shooting better than 55 percent from the floor and moved the ball so well that they had 22 assists on their first 31 baskets.

``Of course, we didn’t want to go 0-8 in the preseason and winning is always a good habit,’’ said Hedo Turkoglu, who had nine points, seven rebounds and four assists in 23 minutes before leaving because of back spasms. ``We’re trying to build good habits around here. And it’s always good to build that confidence because it allows you to see the things that you can accomplish. It was a good win tonight.’’

Davis, the Magic’s scorer and rebounder this preseason, played well despite giving up five inches to Indiana starting center Roy Hibbert. Working with Redick on pick-and-roll plays, Davis made nine of 14 shots.

``You think about the type of players that we are and we need each other,’’ Davis said of he and Davis. ``We can create our own shot, but we do better helping each other. J.J. needs room to shoot and I need room to move, especially around big guys like Hibbert. It also comes from playing together and understanding the game. I think we both understand the game at a high level.’’

Redick did most of his offensive damage in the first quarter and then carved up the Pacers with his passing. He had a team-high eight assists for a second straight game. Nelson added seven more assists for a Magic squad that had 30 assists total.

Redick played with a blue welt under his left eye courtesy of a hard hit from reserve center Gustavo Ayon in practice on Thursday. But clearly it had no affect on his play.

The Magic are off on Saturday and will host the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday at 6 p.m. at the Amway Center. Vaughn won a championship in San Antonio as a player and worked the past two seasons as an assistant coach for the Spurs. Orlando hopes to see the debut of shooting guard Arron Afflalo, who has missed the first five preseason games because of a strained left hamstring.

E’Twaun Moore and Andrew Nicholson added 13 points off the bench for the Magic. Magic rookie small forward DeQuan Jones continued to impress with 10 points, four blocked shots and three spectacular plays in the third quarter. Streaking down the floor, the University of Miami product took an alley-oop pass from Nelson for a dunk that brought the crowd to its feet. Seconds later, Jones used his athleticism to stuff a dunk attempt from Indiana’s Jeff Pendergraph. And Jones ended the third quarter with a buzzer-beating jump shot from the right corner.

Tyler Hansbrough had 23 points, while David West chipped in 14 points for the Pacers (2-2).

In a scene familiar to last spring in the playoffs, Redick and Davis picked the Pacers apart with their play in the pick-and-roll, helping the Magic lead 49-41 at the half. The Magic moved the ball so well that they had 12 assists on their 19 baskets in the first half.

``The really understand where each other is going to be,’’ Vaughn said of Davis and Redick. ``They’re unselfish with one another, which bodes well because the guy who is unselfish setting the back screen might get the shot. It’s coincidence because they’ve done it over and over this preseason. It’s something that I have to be aware of as a coach with the minutes and rotations and utilize that (pick-and-roll play). They do have a great connection on the floor.’’

Redick made his first three shots and had 10 points in the first quarter. He then spent the second quarter moving the ball to open shooters and registered four of his five first-half assists in the second period.

Davis, who averaged 19 points and 11 rebounds last spring in the playoffs against the Pacers, scored 14 points in the first half – most of them coming on point-blank looks after rolling off screens.

And Turkoglu and Nelson continued their solid preseason play by filling up the stat sheet in the first half. Nelson had 12 points and two 3-pointers in the first half, while Turkoglu contributed five points, six rebounds and four assists in the first 24 minutes.

``Every time you step on the court you want to get a win,’’ Nelson said. ``Our main thing was to come out and play hard and never let a team play harder than us. And defensively we wanted to be there for one another. I thought we did a great job of shutting down the paint and doing the things that we worked on.’’


John Denton writes for OrlandoMagic.com. John has covered the Magic since 1997. E-mail John at jdenton@orlandomagic.com or follow him on Twitter at @JohnDenton555.

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