By John Denton
February 10, 2013
ORLANDO -- To a man, the Orlando Magic stressed that this kind of night was coming soon, one in which they put it all together, got contributions from all over the roster and played with a spirit that has kept them unified throughout the down times.
On Sunday, the Magic put together four quarters of good basketball on both ends of the floor and finally put to rest their longest losing streak in nine years.
Getting 22 points from the returning J.J. Redick and solid contributions from six other players who scored in double figures, Orlando shared the ball, defended with grit and beat Portland 110-104 to end a 12-game skid.
An Amway Center crowd of 17,966 saw the Magic (15-36) shoot a dazzling 50.5 percent and come within one assist of a season high. Orlando’s passing and execution were so crisp that they had 34 assists on their 47 baskets.
``You always need wins. There is no better feeling in sports than winning and there is no worse feeling in sports than losing,’’ Redick said. ``The losing wears on you, so any win right now is great for us.’’
Some of the numbers from Sunday were downright jaw-dropping, ranging from the 19 rebounds for Nikola Vucevic, the 15 assists for point guard Jameer Nelson or the 16-point, 11-rebound double-double from reserve center Gustavo Ayon. Add in some red-hot shooting from Redick (nine of 13 and two 3-pointers) and it was easy to see why Orlando was victorious for the first time since Jan. 16 against Indiana.
``You always want to see your fruits of your labor and in this business that’s wins and losses. It’s just good for the guys’ psyche overall,’’ Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said. ``But we’ve stayed firm in our approach and guys have been unbelievable throughout this process. They see that their hard work and the lessons that we’re learning will add up for us. As a staff, we’ve been telling them from Day One that if you do those things and eventually over time it adds up to wins and success.’’
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