Posted December 19, 2012 on
AP on Fox
Los Angeles Lakers
Not much was expected of the Magic after Dwight Howard was finally traded in August.
Orlando, however, is beginning to prove otherwise.
The Magic look to extend their season-high three-game win streak Wednesday night when they host the league-worst Washington Wizards.
After a 5-10 start, the new-look Magic (11-13) have started to come together by winning six of nine in December. They notched their fourth win in five games Monday, rallying for a 102-93 victory over Minnesota.
"I'm pleased with the improvements we've made individually and as a team,'' coach Jacque Vaughn said. "We're believing in each other, but we still know that we have a lot of work to do.''
While Howard tries to help the Los Angeles Lakers get back to .500, the big men who have replaced the perennial All-Star center are playing key roles for the Magic.
Glen Davis has taken over as the team's scoring leader (16.2 points per game), and had 28 points on 13-of-17 shooting on Monday.
Center Nikola Vucevic added 14 points and 11 rebounds for his third consecutive double-double.
Although they rank near the bottom of the league in scoring at 93.0 points per game, the Magic have eclipsed the century mark in back-to-back games to improve to 8-1 when scoring 100 or more.
J.J. Redick contributed 18 points, including 2 of 4 from 3-point range against Minnesota.
His production has been key in Orlando's success, averaging 18.3 points and making 31 3-pointers in the team's 11 wins. Redick, though, scores 10.3 per game while connecting on only nine 3s in the 12 losses he's played in.
After going 6 for 14 from long range on Monday, the Magic are 11-4 when they make at least five 3s in a game and 0-9 when they make four or less.
Orlando will try to continue that trend against a Wizards defense that has allowed one of the highest totals in the Eastern Conference at 7.4 3-pointers per game.
After falling by 30 points at Miami on Saturday, Washington (3-19) was far more competitive Tuesday in a 100-95 overtime loss to Atlanta, its fourth straight defeat.
Five of the Wizards' last six losses have been by single digits.
"The way we play you would think giving ourselves a fighting chance in all these games, (our) record should be flipped,'' said forward Martell Webster, who had 11 points.
Washington, which is 1-10 on the road, shot 37.9 percent from the field in the loss and is hitting on 38.2 percent over the last five games.
Jordan Crawford was a bright spot, recording his second career triple-double after finishing with 27 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists against the Hawks.
Crawford has played point guard with John Wall (knee) and A.J. Price (broken hand) sidelined, and committed just one turnover after having 10 in his previous two games.
He's averaging 19.3 points in his last three games against the Magic.
Washington suffered another blow to its depleted backcourt on Tuesday when rookie Bradley Beal did not return after falling hard to the floor in the third quarter while fouled on a dunk attempt.
Washington ended a nine-game losing streak to the Magic with a 93-85 victory on April 10 in the most recent meeting. The Wizards have dropped five straight and eight of nine in Orlando.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Of course people want to say that Gerald Henderson dunked on Dwight Howard last night. But really, he didn’t. Mainly because Howard wisely decided to not jump with Henderson.
The post Dwight Howard wisely decided not to jump with Gerald Henderson on this dunk first appeared on No Guts, No Glory.
Dwight Howard attended Master P’s inaugural Let The Kids Grow Holiday Gala in Los Angeles earlier this month. The LTKG Foundation emphasizes teaching kids the importance of education and making good decisions. According to The Tolucan Times, Dwight Howard was honored for “providing scholarships to youngsters”. Howard said “I look up to Master P who has influenced me to...
How does a Gerald Henderson Mozgov compare to a Blake Griffin Mozgov? Well… more favorably than you might imagine, I’d say.
With about eight minutes to play in LA’s eventual one-point victory over Charlotte, Henderson curled into the lane and received a bounce pass from Bismack Biyombo. All in one motion, he gathered the ball, and himself, before exploding off of two feet...
Usually when the Lakers are in a highlight on here, they’re the ones throwing down dunks or tossing around sweet alley-oops, but not tonight. Tonight that award belongs to Gerald Henderson of the Charlotte Bobcats. Yes, you read that right. In the fourth quarter of the Lakers’ 101-100 win over the Bobcats on Tuesday night, Henderson gathered a pass in the lane and took off, throwing...
Lakers' Dwight Howard is perhaps the most dominant defensive center in the NBA. This season he is averaging 2.6 blocks, and is pretty much an intimidating force in the paint for any would-be opponent daring enough to go the the rim for the basket.
But last night, Bobcats' Gerald Henderson scoffed at Howard's reputation and proceeded to annihilate Howard in the fourth...
For someone who has yet to play a game for the Philadelphia 76ers or prove that he can be a difference-maker for their franchise, Andrew Bynum is awfully confident. While it’s still incredibly early, you could make the argument at the moment that the Los Angeles Lakers were better with Bynum than they are with Dwight Howard. A number of other factors are at play, but Bynum still...
Philadelphia 76ers center Andrew Bynum, whose been battling knee problems since his trade to Philadelphia, believes he's the best center in the NBA, and has some advice for his former team.
"I don't regret anything. Personally, they traded No. 1 for No. 2 and that is what happened," said Bynum, referring to the four team trade that sent him to Philly and Dwight...
Bobcats swingman Gerald Henderson joined in the holiday dunking season with an absurd jam over the Lakeshow’s Dwight Howard. The title of the post is a little more accurate as it wasn’t really a slam dunk, but more of a slam throw. You know you’ve done something special when the opponent’s bench jumps outta their seats.
We know one thing that Henderson won’t have on...
Looking for the slam dunk of Tuesday night in the NBA? Then, we have to travel to Los Angeles as Charlotte Bobcats forward Gerald Henderson decided to put Dwight Howard on a poster.Watch as Henderson rises up over Howard in the fourth quarter of play and throws down the monster slam:
The Bobcats Gerald Henderson threw down this beastly slam on Dwight Howard Tuesday night, posterizing the Lakers big man in absurd fashion. Even Blake Griffin is impressed by that power throw down. Seriously, the dunk was so good it even made one guy on the Lakers bench jump up in celebration.
Article found on: Cosby Sweaters
The Lakers now have three wins in a row beating the Charlotte bobcats 101-100. Break out the confetti – and they did Tuesday night at Staples but they do that for every home win. Pau Gasol was back in the line up and was one rebound shy of a double-double with ten points and 9 [...]
Andrew Bynum is 7 feet tall and supposed to be one of the NBA’s best centers.
Instead, he’s spent most of this season working back from knee injuries amidst reports that he’d rather be bowling (which complicated one of the knee injuries) or just not playing basketball at all. Still, Bynum has apparently found some room to throw stones when it comes to explaining why his career...
How Can My Game Get Better?
Dad shows his player how to shoot the 3 ball over a tree branch on the sidewalk hoop. The same dad showed his son how to shoot at the State Fair one year and air-balled-ten-in-a-row.
Mom posts up in the street-chalked paint. She stuns her player with the sort of pivot moves Dwight Howard needs.
Together they grow basketball each year their...
The Magic, of all teams, kicked off a debate that has been plaguing the NBA since Gregg Popovich started fouling Shaquille O'Neal, or maybe the strategy even dates back to Wilt Chamberlain and his famous clanking ability from the so-called charity stripe.
From a strategy perspective, it makes sense. If Howard is shooting only 49.2 percent from the foul line, the risk that he...