The Orlando Magic beat the Philadelphia 76ers last night from Orlando 98-88 for their third straight win. The Magic, after starting out slowly against Atlanta and Memphis, have rolled off three straight victories, including last night's national game vs. Philly.
Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu led all scorers with 20 points. Dwight Howard had a monster game. Literally, he was like a monster, blocking 4 shots from the Sixers. But, the one player who really needed to step up in my mind was Jameer Nelson. He scored a season-high 16 points accompanied with 9 assists and 4 rebounds. I thought, prior to the game, that if the Magic were to win, Nelson would have to step up his game, and he did, pulling out another win for Orlando.
The 76ers looked sloppy all night, despite how the score may say that is was a close game. I admit, that at points, the Sixers got too close for comfort to the lead we established, but Philly never really was gelling. Especially in the 1st quarter. It looked like the coach and them were out partying Wednesday night! They were practically sleep-walking out there, and really never gave the Magic a legit run for the money at any point in the game. The Magic took advantage of a team who had to travel from Philly to Miami and then straight to Orlando. The Heat dominated the 76ers 106-83 on Wednesday the 5th. The Sixers need to play some solid ball and have more confidence when you go out there on the floor. 2-4, by no means, is the end of your season, and I know that the 76ers are resillient and will pull it together soon.
The Magic, however, have finally found a comfortable groove with which to work in, and it doesn't look to me like it will be grinding to a halt anytime soon. He are the next 10 games the Magic have on their schedule:
11/8 vs. Wizards
11/10 vs. Blazers
11/12 @ Thunder
11/14 @ Mavericks
11/16 @ Bobcats
11/18 vs. Raptors
11/21 @ Pacers
11/22 vs. Rockets
11/24 vs. Bucks
11/26 @ 76ers
To me, that schedule looks like 7 or 8 wins, and more than likely, first place in the Southeast Division. Atlanta can start as strong as they'd like, but they know and everyone knows they can't and won't hold onto a lead for very long.
Tomorrow night, the Magic stay at home and play rivaled Washington. The Wiz-Kids aren't doing as well as some expected, which is about where I thought they would be, with an 0-3 record, and looking for more.
The Magic's victory over Philadelphia last night was the spark they needed to get them going, and hopefully, the momentum established will keep them going.
Thanks for reading! Enjoy your Friday!