The Orlando Magic now have more wins than the Los Angeles Lakers. Really.
The Magic overcame the absences of injured starters Jameer Nelson and Hedo Turkoglu and a 14-point, third-quarter deficit to beat the Phoenix Suns 115-94 Sunday night at Amway Center.
Here’s a look back at the good, the bad and the just plain strange.
• Balanced scoring. Five Magic players scored at least 15 points.
• J.J. Redick continues to be Orlando’s most efficient offensive player. Redick scored 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting. He also had six assists against three turnovers.
• Arron Afflalo gained some traction. He added 22 points on 8-of-16 shooting and he helped fuel the third-quarter comeback. He provided some grit, subbing occasionally at small forward and nearly getting into a shoving match with Luis Scola in the second half.
“We went to him, and he answered,” coach Jacque Vaughn said. “He’s an emotional basketball player and he uses that emotion to fuel himself, and I enjoy watching him. I enjoy watching him compete, and I think it gave us some life, which we needed. Even the little skirmish in front of their bench — that’s Arron. That’s his emotion, and I really, really love that about him.”
• Glen Davis had 22 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Afterward, Vaughn said Davis almost willed the team to the win.
• Center Nik Vucevic helped stifle Scola’s offense in the second half. Vucevic also recorded the first double-double of his Magic tenure, scoring 18 points and grabbing 13 rebounds.
• E’Twaun Moore, replacing Nelson in the lineup and notching his first NBA start, played with confidence. He scored 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting, dished out six assists and had three turnovers.
• Rookie DeQuan Jones made his NBA debut and logged his first NBA start. Early in the game, he blocked a Michael Beasley shot early on and deflected a pass that hit off Beasley’s foot and rolled out of bounds.
After the game, Jones tweeted: “First official start. The feeling was incredible. Thanks to all the fans that came out to support.”
• The Magic defense was vulnerable in the first quarter, allowing the Suns to record 20 points in the paint on 10-of-16 shooting. But Orlando recovered, limiting Phoenix to 18 points in the paint the rest of the way.
• Gustavo Ayón deserves praise for returning two weeks after he sprained his left thumb. He played with a splint on his thumb, but he clearly favored his left hand, which seemed to make him tentative on defense.
• The game drew an announced crowd of 17,022, marking the first time since Jan. 6, 2009, that the Magic failed to sell-out a regular-season home game. The team’s regular-season sellout streak ended at 132 consecutive games.
• Marcin Gortat scored 14 points and grabbed 11 boards. After the game, he visited the Magic locker room and hugged Sid Powell, the team’s assistant director of team operations.
• George Rodman, the statistics guru within the Magic’s basketball operations department, celebrated a birthday Sunday, Vaughn said.
• Stuff, the Magic’s mascot, led several members of the U.S. military onto the court between the first and second quarters to try to use a portable trampoline to dunk basketballs. One of the servicemen accidently caught his hand in the net and tore some of the wiring that attaches to the rim. It took 13 minutes to repair the damage. But that delay actually might have helped the Magic settle their interior defense.
• Jones and fellow rookie Kyle O’Quinn scored the first points of their NBA careers.
They said it . . .
• “It might be better for them that they don’t have Dwight Howard. They got 20 from Afflalo, 20 from Redick and 20 from Big Baby. Their all-around scoring is better. When Dwight was here, that wasn’t necessarily the case.” —Phoenix’s Beasley
• “There’s a whole different feeling. You’ve got to be here to feel it. You’ve got to be in every practice to feel it. There’s no agendas. There’s no ‘I.’ It’s a team. It’s a great feeling when the team comes together and wins in spite of [its shortcomings].” —Davis
• “I’ve been watching tape and I said to him that he’s probably made as much improvement as anyone as a player.” —Suns coach Alvin Gentry discussing Redick
The Magic will practice Monday in Orlando, face the Chicago Bulls in Chicago at 8 Tuesday night and play the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis at 8 Wednesday night.
Josh Robbins covers the Orlando Magic and the NBA for the Orlando Sentinel. You can reach him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and connect with him on Facebook at facebook.com/JoshuaBRobbins. Follow him on Twitter at @JoshuaBRobbins.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun