By John Denton
December 9, 2012
``It was my job to get us a shot, but I can’t shoot it,’’ Vaughn said of the play he drew up with Nicholson in mind. ``Great execution, great pass by Glen and great screen by J.J. And Andrew made it go in.’’
The Magic will take a much-needed day off on Monday before returning to the practice court on Tuesday. Orlando hosts the Atlanta Hawks at the Amway Center on Wednesday night and then faces Golden State at home on Friday.
Glen ``Big Baby’’ Davis added 15 points, while Arron Afflalo scored 14 points. Nikola Vucevic had a solid bounce-back effort with 12 points and nine rebounds in 26 minutes. Moore had 10 points and a 3-pointer to cap the impressive performance from the Magic’s bench.
``Guys are going to make their runs and Phoenix is a hard team to beat, but at the same time I was proud of our guys for stopping them, making a comeback and finishing the game the right way,’’ Davis said.
The Suns (7-14) have lost seven games in a row. They got 17 points from Shannon Brown, while former Magic center Marcin Gortat added 12 points and six rebounds.
The third quarter featured a couple of wild swings with both teams going through hot and cold stretches. Orlando scored the first two baskets of the second half to take its biggest lead of the night (57-48), but came unglued as Phoenix scored 17 of the next 19 points. But the Magic closed the period strong behind some stellar shooting from rookie Andrew Nicholson and took a one-point lead into the fourth quarter.
Redick jump-started the Magic’s struggling offense midway through the first quarter with his movement, shooting from range and overall basketball smarts. Redick had a hand in 21 points in the first half with 17 points and two assists. He made three 3-pointers and even had a four-point play and another time when he made three free throws after getting knocked to the floor.
Redick’s stellar play allowed the Magic to lead 53-48. Not only did Redick key a game-turning 21-7 run in the middle of the first half, but he also took a charge late in the second quarter that had the Magic squad up off the bench and cheering.
``We needed (Redick) to make plays for us, whether it was shooting the basketball or coming off screens and getting guys good looks,’’ Vaughn said. ``He did just that for us tonight.’’
Following a slow start where they missed five of their first seven shots and turned the ball over five times, the Magic made 19 of their next 36 shots.
``I think we made a little bit of a switch in that Utah game (on Wednesday). That was a game where we typically get blown out in after getting down 13 points and would have folded,’’ Redick said. ``There were two games against Brooklyn where we folded and a couple more against San Antonio and Atlanta where we folded. So that’s a step forward for us. We were in a position to win that (Utah) game, in a position to win the Sacramento game and tonight we were able to pull it off.’’
The Magic have been emphasizing the need to get off to better starts, but the team was mysteriously sluggish again to open Sunday’s game. After three misses and two turnovers, Vaughn called timeout 2 minutes, 43 seconds into the game in hopes of jarring his team out of its malaise.
Vaughn is a coach who prefers to ``stay in the now,’’ and he didn’t want to sum up the road trip in totality until after Sunday’s victory. He said the toughness and grit that his team showed him something on this trip.
``We’re 3-2 on the road and I guess we can say it now that we’re done with the five games,’’ Vaughn said. ``We have a resilient group. After our start, we could have packed it in and went home back to Orlando. But we showed some resolve and had a great finish to the game.’’
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