Recap: Magic 108, Cavs 104

November 23, 2012

In the closing moments of a tight-knit contest, high-quality free throw shooters are not just a luxury; they’re a godsend.

The Magic’s J.J. Redick put one of his more valuable assets on display Friday night by being extremely cool in the clutch and coming through from the free throw line when his team needed him the most.

Without taking a single attempt from the charity stripe, prior to the last 16 seconds of the contest, Redick marched up to the free throw line on four consecutive occasions and went a perfect 8-for-8 from bonus land to safely secure a 104-100 home win for the Magic.

“I was telling him, ‘can you miss,’” said Cavs rookie guard Dion Waiters. “I was playing, but I was serious, like miss a shot please. But he’s a great shooter and he was able to knock down shots for his team.”

There was no playing around when it came to Orlando’s decision to put the ball in Redick’s hands. Magic Head Coach Jacque Vaughn instructed on each inbounds pass to find a way to get the ball to the sharpshooter.

“I’ve said it before that when he shoots the basketball, when he has it in his hands, I think good things are going to happen,” Vaughn explained. “And I felt he was going to make every free throw and inbounders did a great job of executing and getting the ball to him, our screeners got him open and he made the free throws.”

However, Redick contributed more than just eight critical freebies down the stretch. He also delivered a sensational assist to a rolling Nikola Vucevic that pushed Orlando’s lead to three with 32.3 seconds left.

“Great pass by J.J. to get him a layup in a crucial part of the game and that’s the confidence we’re trying to build in each individual,” Vaughn said. “The trust that we’re trying to gain with each other, and that comes with time, and that comes with patience and that comes with playing together, so we’re trying.”

And right now, they’re also executing.

"You’ve got to feed him nails and hot sauce. That’s how you’ve got to do it with guys like that; big upside, but never really had to bite anybody. You’ve got to get him to bite somebody." - Magic forward Glen Davis on grooming young center Nikola Vucevic, who had 10 points and eight rebounds on Sunday.
This Statline of the Night goes to Orlando Magic point guard Jameer Nelson, who stuffed the stat-sheet with 22 points, six assists, six rebounds and two steals. He also went a scorching 4-for-8 from downtown.
Photo courtesy of Fernando Medina. | Photo Gallery




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