By John Denton
December 19, 2012
E’Twaun Moore had 15 points and three 3-pointers for a Magic team that has won four games in a row since last week’s home loss to the Atlanta Hawks. The Magic shot better than 50 percent most of the night, but their four of 19 shooting in the fourth period allowed the Wizards to get within 85-81 in the final three minutes.
Cracked Redick: ``You never want to see your teammate hurt. I deeply care for Glen, so I hope it’s not anything serious. It’s unfortunate and it definitely does take away from the good feeling of winning.’’
Magic point guard Jameer Nelson, who had eight points, five rebounds and three steals on Wednesday, knows what it’s like to endure a major shoulder injury. Nelson missed most of the 2008-09 season – ironically his only all-star season – with a torn labrum and a dislocated shoulder. Like many of his teammates, he feared the worst, but hoped for the best with Davis.
``I’m not a doctor and I just want to support him no matter what’s going on, just like I have since he’s been my teammate,’’ Nelson said. ``Whatever (the diagnosis) is going to be it’s going to be and we can’t control it. Obviously he’s a big part of our team and we need him.’’
The Magic could get some clarity on Davis’ injury by Thursday when they travel to Toronto to face the Raptors on Friday at 7 p.m. The Raptors, who will be without power forward Andrea Bargnani and point guard Kyle Lowry on Friday night, defeated the Magic 97-86 on Nov. 18.
After squandering much of their lead late in the first half, the Magic responded early in the third quarter to regain control of the game. Orlando limited Washington to just five field goals in the third quarter. Offensively, Orlando made three 3-pointers in the third period and took a 76-63 lead into the final period.
Magic coach Jacque Vaughn stressed to his team before the game that it could not overlook Washington, which has now lost five games in a row, is 1-11 on the road and 1-14 against teams from the Eastern Conference.
``I just told them before the game that right now the game is won or lost before we go out of this locker room,’’ Vaughn said. ``Your mental approach will determine the outcome of this game, and if we’re mentally ready to play and play like we’re capable of, we’ll be in good shape. So the game was played before we even stepped out on the floor.’’
Orlando led 52-50 at the half, but it could have been more one-sided if it could have held onto a lead that swelled to as much as 13 points early on. With the Magic up 48-35, Washington used an 11-0 run to get back into the game. Crawford, who had a triple-double a night earlier in Washington’s overtime loss to Atlanta, scored 15 points and made three 3-pointers in the first half.
As has been the case so often this season, Orlando was sluggish at the start, prompting Vaughn to call an early timeout. But the Magic quickly shook out of their slumber and began pulling away from the Wizards.
Redick, who is in the running for the league’s Most Improved Player and Sixth Man of the Year awards, proved to be instant offense for the Magic. He had nine points in his first 10 minutes on the floor by burying all three of his 3-points shots.
Like his players, Vaughn was holding out hope that Davis will be able to return soon and that his injury wasn’t serious. As of Wednesday night, he wasn’t yet ready to start contemplating life without a player who averaging career highs in minutes (32.5), scoring (16 ppg.), rebounding (7.9 rpg.) and assists (1.8 apg.) this season.
``I’m not going to write that obituary just yet,’’ Vaughn said when asked to contemplate life without Davis on the court. ``I’ll see him in the morning and I’ll be smiling and I’ll hug him and we’ll see how he is. I’ll keep thinking he’ll be ready to go when we play (on Friday) or the doctors tell me otherwise.’’
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