Savage: Magic-Bucks Postgame Analysis

By Dan Savage
March 16, 2010

Dwight Howard headed into Wednesday night’s contest against the Milwaukee Bucks with a clear goal in mind: Dominate on both ends of the court and set the tone for the rest of his squad.

Although Orlando failed to deliver the consistent effort Howard was searching for, it still managed to pull out a gritty 93-89 overtime victory in Milwaukee and clinch a playoff berth for the fifth consecutive year courtesy of a monster performance from its All-Star center.

Dwight Howard exploded for 31 points, 22 rebounds and three blocked shots to help the Magic edge the Bucks and close out their five-game road trip on the right note.

“I just wanted to come out with a lot of energy tonight and try to dominate on both ends,” he explained.

Hedo Turkoglu made the transition from Mr. Fourth Quarter to Mr. Overtime as he fired off eight of his 19 points in the extra session.

In a contest where the Magic connected on just 20 of their 35 free throw attempts, none of Turk’s points were more pivotal than his two made freebies with 4.8 seconds left in OT that sealed Orlando’s victory.

“I have always been in this situation in my career, especially with the Magic,” Turkoglu said. “They just have confidence in me and I just keep myself ready for that time.”

But even though Orlando was happy to pull out an overtime triumph, Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy still saw a cause for concern.

Dan Savage

Another terrible start to the second half, the inability to consistently defend and a 19-turnover night were among the areas that he wants to be improved.

“It’s the problems that we’re having and our inability to take care of the ball, foremost among them, that’s really causing me concern,” Van Gundy said. “It’s going to be really hard to win playoff games turning the ball over 18-19 times every night. We just don’t seem to have any value in taking care of the ball.”

With the Magic still searching for sustained quality efforts and a matchup with the Denver Nuggets on the horizon, let's take a look at the quick hits from Wednesday's affair.


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