FINAL: ORLANDO MAGIC 100, CHARLOTTE BOBCATS 86


GameNight Specifics
NBA Coverage: Game Info
Date: Sunday, Feb. 27
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Amway Center (ORLANDO, FL)
Radio: AM 580 WDBO, AM 1270 WRLZ
Television: Sun Sports



PROJECTED MATCHUPS

LINEUPS MAY CHANGE BY GAME TIME


TEAM
PG
SG
C
PF
SF
R
R
BOBCATS
DJ Augustin

Stephen Jackson

Kwame Brown

Boris Diaw

Gerald Henderson

Joel Przybilla

Matt Carroll
MAGIC
Jameer Nelson

Jason Richardson

Dwight Howard

Brandon Bass

Hedo Turkoglu

JJ Redick

Gilbert Arenas





















GAME RECAP


ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Dwight Howard had 20 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Orlando Magic past the Charlotte Bobcats, 100-86 on Sunday night.

Brandon Bass added 17 points and Gilbert Arenas chipped in 16, making four 3-pointers to break out of a recent shooting slump.

Orlando won for the fourth time in five games and 12th in 14 meetings with Charlotte. The Bobcats had a two-game winning streak snapped and remained a half-game behind Indiana in the chase for the East's final playoff spot.

Stephen Jackson led Charlotte with 35 points, followed by D.J. Augustin and Boris Diaw with 11 apiece.

The Bobcats continue a four-game road trip at Denver on Wednesday. The Magic host New York on Tuesday night.

After struggling against opponents with winning records before the All-Star break, the Magic now have a chance at redemption this week with consecutive games against New York, Miami and Chicago.

The Bobcats began their road trip Sunday in adjustment mode after shuffling their roster at the trade deadline.

Charlotte acquired Joel Przybilla, Dante Cunningham and Sean Marks from Portland in exchange for Gerald Wallace, who was the Bobcats' second-leading scorer.

They also traded Nazr Mohammed to Oklahoma City for D.J. White and Morris Peterson.

Przybilla, Cunningham and White all saw their first action as Bobcats on Sunday.

All of them had modest debuts. Przybilla, who is expected to get the most use in the rotation going forward, racked up three fouls in the first half in just over five minutes of action. He went scoreless for the game. White finished with four points and White two.

The Magic led by as 15 points in the first half and held around a 10-point cushion for most of the second half.

The Bobcats cut it to 87-79 on a basket by Jackson with 6:42 to play. But the Magic answered with a jumper by Arenas and 3-pointer by J.J. Redick to push it 92-79 at the 5:46 mark.

Charlotte was unable to get any closer.

Magic coach Stan Van Gundy was looking for offensive consistency from his team following Friday's decisive win over Oklahoma City.

Orlando delivered it in the first half Sunday, shooting 64 percent from the field, making 45 percent of its 3-pointers and building a 59-51 halftime advantage.

The Bobcats had no answers for Howard early, as he dropped in 14 points in the opening 24 minutes. But the Magic defense also didn't do much to slow down Jackson, who led all scorers with 20 first-half points.

Notes: Cunningham and White practiced as members of the Bobcats for the first time on Saturday. ... The morning shootaround Sunday was Przybilla's first team activity with Charlotte before the game. ... Marks and Peterson were both inactive. ... Arenas' 3-pointer in the second quarter snapped a streak of six consecutive games without a make beyond the arc. He was just 3 for 38 during the stretch, including 18 straight misses. ... Daniel Whitney (Larry the Cable Guy) was in attendance for Sunday's game.





DENTON'S ANALYSIS VS. BOBCATS


ORLANDO – Winners of late against some of the NBA’s better teams as in the Los Angeles Lakers and the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Orlando Magic proved on Sunday that they can in fact also whip a mediocre squad such as the Charlotte Bobcats.

That was somewhat in question following disappointing recent home losses to Sacramento and New Orleans, one that left shooting guard J.J. Redick describing the Magic as ``manic-depressive.’’ But that’s not something the Magic will have to worry about in the week ahead with showdowns looming against the Knicks, Heat and Bulls.

The Magic used an 18th straight double-double from Dwight Howard, 26 assists and a shooting revival from reserve point guard Gilbert Arenas in a workmanlike 100-86 whipping of the Bobcats Sunday night at the Amway Center.

``We showed we can come off a big win and play well,’’ said Redick, referring to Friday’s defeat of the Thunder. ``Hopefully now we will become more consistent and in this next stretch of games show where we stand in early March. I’m really excited about it.’’

The Magic (38-22) have now beaten their Southeastern Division rivals 13 of the last 14 meetings, including last spring’s four-game playoff sweep. The Bobcats’ lone victory against the Magic was a shocker in Orlando last March.

Brandon Bass had 17 points, while Arenas scored 16 points and made four of six 3-pointers. Point guard Jameer Nelson was attacking early on in the pick-and-roll and had a solid game with 13 points and seven assists.

``It’s difficult to beat us when we’re moving the ball around,’’ said Jason Richardson, who chipped in 11 points, six rebounds and three assists and made the 5,000th field goal of his career. ``We’ve got a lot of guys who can shoot and we’re trying to really share the ball. (The 26 assists) show how unselfish we are as a team.’’

By comparison, Charlotte (26-33) had just 14 assists – one less than the Magic had in the first half of the game. Stephen Jackson scored 35 points on 13 of 22 shooting, but most of it came off of one-on-one sets. Even with Jackson’s scoring outburst, the Bobcats were a minus-13 in the small forward’s 39 minutes on the floor.

Now, with Charlotte out of the way, the Magic have a three-game test against New York, Miami and Chicago. Orlando is 1-0 against the Knicks, 1-2 against the Heat and 1-1 versus the Bulls.

``We’re talented enough to beat anybody,’’ Howard said. ``We’re equipped, like coach (Stan Van Gundy) said, to win a championship. We just have to continue to play hard and be consistent with what we do. That’s the only way we’re going to get where we’re trying to get to.’’

Here’s a look back at what went right, what went wrong and some final observations from Sunday’s victory at the Amway Center:

READ REST OF ANALYSIS>>>





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