By John Denton
December 17, 2012
ORLANDO – With the Amway Center crowd roaring with approval, Orlando Magic power forward Glen Davis curled the basketball under his left arm, let out a primal scream and triumphantly slapped high fives with a courtside fan.
Fresh off the second half of a lifetime and a pulsating 102-93 comeback victory for the Magic against the rugged Minnesota Timberwolves, Davis didn’t want the moment – or the game, for that matter – to end Monday night.
``It felt really good, and that was me just letting out a lot of frustration,’’ said Davis, who scored 20 of his 28 points in the second half after a rocky first 24 minutes. ``I was wishing the game could keep going. I was frustrated in that first half. Luckily, I put together a half that helped us win.’’
When Davis made 10 of 11 shots after halftime and Orlando outscored Minnesota 53-32 over the final two quarters, the Magic (11-13) had their first three-game winning streak of the season in hand. Combine that with a winning West Coast road trip two weeks ago and the Magic have now won six of nine games and are full of confidence.
``I think they believe in each other and with that comes a trust in each other,’’ said Magic coach Jacque Vaughn. ``They respect what each other can do. It’s a sign of a team and we’ll continue to grow with each other. We’ll go through some adversity (at some point), but we know this bunch will keep pushing through.’’
J.J. Redick had 18 points, none bigger than the three points that came off his contested 3-pointer from the wing that put Orlando up 81-80 with 9 minutes remaining. Redick also handed out seven assists, many of them setting up Davis (five dunks), Nikola Vucevic (14 points and 11 rebounds), Arron Afflalo (14 points and two 3-pointers) or Gustavo Ayon (nine points and three rebounds).
Orlando trailed by as much as 15 points early in the third quarter and looked very much in trouble after the way Kevin Love (23 points and 15 rebounds), Nikola Pekovic (19 points and 12 rebounds) and Andrei Kirilenko (13 points) dominated the game early on. That group combined for 43 points in the first half, but managed just 12 in the second half against a much more physical Magic defense.
``It boiled down to who was going to be the aggressors. That was my message at halftime,’’ Vaughn said. ``It was real simple, that (more aggressive team) was going to win. It was great to see our bigs take that challenge on and play with extreme physicality.
``(Ayon) got called for (five) fouls, Andrew (Nicholson) got called for (two) fouls and Glen (four fouls) and on down the line (got called for fouls), but I loved it because it was a physical, aggressive nature and they were trying to do the right things,’’ Vaughn added.
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