Orlando was 11-4 and heading to Boston with two days rest. The 6-9 Celtics had just played in Washington the day before. They were also missing Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen, as well as BOTH their back-ups, Keyon Dooling and Mickael Pietrus. Everything was pointing towards an easy Magic victory; which made what unfolded before my eyes last night all the more shocking.
With 2:53 to go in the first quarter Magic superstar Dwight Howard’s bucket put Orlando up 16-13. He didn’t make another field goal the rest of the game (for the record I think he’s totally overrated; he can’t shoot, and never seems to play well vs Boston). Somehow Kevin Garnett, who has looked old and slow the entire season, was able to have his way with Howard all night. Here’s Dwight’s post-game analysis:
“There’s no way KG should be beating me up and down the floor… There’s no way. He’s 40 and I’m 25. I just can’t allow that to happen.”
For the game Orlando shot 16-65, just 24.6%, the worst field goal percentage in Magic history, and the worst in any NBA game in 8 years. The 16 total made field goals by Orlando is an all time NBA record low since the creation of the shot clock in 1954. They turned the ball over 25 times. I have no idea how to research this, but I’m willing to bet no NBA team has ever had 9 more turnovers than made baskets before (I need a team of statisticians working for me).
After halftime Orlando scored just 20 points. They did not make a 2 point shot in the entire 3rd quarter (they did hit two 3’s though). In fact, for 22:15 of the second half, the Magic made just ONE basket from inside the arc. A half is only 24 minutes long. That doesn’t even seem possible. Former Celtic Von Wafer made 2 meaningless hoops in garbage time in the last 1:45, giving Orlando 5 total baskets in the 2nd half.
Oh yeah: the final score was 87-56, Boston. Doc Rivers said the other day his team “just wasn’t in shape” at the start of the season. I hope it’s that simple.
Two other very strange things happened last night: for the second time this season Boston went 19-19 from the free throw line. Also there was a sequence late in the 3rd quarter when the Magic only had 4 guys on the floor. Jason Richardson jumped up off the bench and into the game during the play.
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