Postgame Central: Suns @ Magic - Nov. 18, 2010
Forward Earl Clark had a season- and bench-high 12 points in 16 minutes of action for the Suns.
Quote of the Game
“(Steve Nash) is our leader. It is always going to be hard when he is not on the court. We all have to step up and try to do our best and help each other.”
Fan Quote of the Game
"Don’t worry about tonight’s game, guys. Its been a tough stretch against the big teams, Lakers, Nuggets, Heat and now Magic."
Steve Nash Sits While Magic Roll Past Suns 105-89
Posted: Nov 18, 2010
ORLANDO (AP) Jameer Nelson had 15 points and a season-high 12 assists, and the Orlando Magic easily handled a Phoenix Suns team playing without Steve Nash in a 105-89 win on Thursday night.
Dwight Howard added 20 points and 12 rebounds, and every starter scored in double digits for the Magic, who built a 32-point lead and blew past the Suns from the opening tip.
Orlando (8-3) has won three straight.
With Nash sidelined because of a sore groin, backup point guard Goran Dragic had 10 points, four assists and four rebounds.
Grant Hill scored 21 points in the lone bright spot for the Suns, who lost on consecutive nights in Florida by a combined 43 points. Phoenix (6-6) was routed by 27 a night earlier at Miami.
Suns coach Alvin Gentry said Nash probably could have played but there was no reason to push the injury this early in the season, especially with Phoenix playing its fourth game in five nights. Gentry said he expects to have Nash back in the starting lineup Saturday at Charlotte.
And could they ever have used him.
The Suns were embarrassed and exposed for the second straight night, and their flaws shined even brighter in Orlando without Nash. They had no flow offensively and played with a slow and stagnant pace that never resembled their usual up-tempo style.
Undersized and undermanned, Phoenix was forced to double-team Howard, freeing Orlando’s shooters for wide-open looks. Before the first quarter even ended, the Magic made four 3-pointers—two from Vince Carter and one each from Quentin Richardson and Mickael Pietrus — to sprint out to a 31-12 lead.
The lowlights: Dragic tripping over himself and falling to the ground after Nelson’s crossover dribble; Howard roaming the paint at will; and Carter turning back the clock by swooping down the middle and double-pumping the ball in midair for a dunk over eveybody.
Orlando added an exclamation point when Carter’s layup just beat the first-half buzzer, putting the Magic ahead 62-34 and bringing the crowd roaring to its feet—and then out.
Almost half the crowd at the Amway Center didn’t return to their seats for the second half. There really was no need. The Magic took a 32-point lead, cleared the bench and coasted the rest of the way.
Notes: Magic backup SG J.J. Redick missed his second straight game with back spasms. There’s no timetable for his return. … Nash was out shooting and doing some light running about 30 minutes before the game. … While Hill was booed throughout the game, teammate Hedo Turkoglu was cheered. Turkoglu, who finished 0-for-8, helped Orlando reach the NBA finals in 2008. Hill was often injured in six seasons with the Magic.
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