Hedo and company down Ersan’s Bucks
Orlando Magic’s Hidayet Türkoğlu (15) gets out in front of Carlos Delfino (10) for a shot during the second half of an NBA game against Turkish forward Ersan İlyasova’s Milwaukee Bucks. AP photosThe Orlando Magic, playing Milwaukee for the fourth time in 22 days, have successfully completed the season sweep over the Bucks in a game that pitted Turkish stars Hidayet “Hedo” Türkoğlu and Ersan İlyasova against each other.
Hidayet had a solid all-around game, with 16 points, 9 assists and 5 rebounds Saturday in the 114-98 victory while Ersan’s 18 points and 7 rebounds were not enough for the visitors.
Six Magic players scored in double figures, led by Dwight Howard with 28 points, 14 rebounds and 4 steals. Ryan Anderson delivered with 16 points, 6 rebounds and 5 steals. Jason Richardson added 18 points with 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Jameer Nelson led the team with 10 assists. Chris Duhon and J.J. Redick played well off the bench, scoring 12 and 14 points respectively.
Milwaukee’s point guard Brandon Jennings scored 27 points with 5 assists.
“I’ve said all along, ‘If Jameer and Turk both play well, we’re going to be good offensively,’” Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy explained. “Those are the guys that have to make a lot of plays.”
In addition to distributing the ball effectively, the Magic’s playmaking duo remained on the attack in an extremely efficient manner. Along with the sensational assist to turnover ratio, Nelson and Hidayet collectively connected on nine of their 16 attempts from the floor on their way to 24 points.
“When they’re aggressive and they’re taking the ball to the rim, collapsing defenses, it really opens everybody else up,” Magic forward Ryan Anderson said. “It just makes us that much more dangerous, because now instead of just focusing on Dwight [Howard] coming off a pick-and-roll, there’s three options.”
Bucks coach Scott Skiles was not happy with his team’s performance. “They’re 4-0 against us now so you have to give it to them,” he said after the game. “Exactly what we talked about before the game that couldn’t happen, happened, where Dwight had a big game and they made 14 three pointers.”
Milwaukee’s Drew Gooden said playing against a solid-shooting Magic would always be difficult. “You want to give up contested three pointers rather than Dwight Howard catching the ball in the paint,” he said. “Dwight got the ball in the paint when he wanted to and scored. Not only that, but when they got the chance outside to shoot three pointers, they knocked them down. Tonight, no matter what poison we picked, it was poison.”
Also on Saturday, Dirk Nowitzki scored a season-high 40 points as the Dallas Mavericks ended a four-game losing streak with a 102-96 win over the Utah Jazz.
Nowitzki scored 10 points in the fourth quarter as the Mavericks fought off a late rally by the Jazz, who trimmed a 23-point deficit down to five with 1:41 left. Dallas forward Lamar Odom played for the first time after missing four games because of personal reasons. He was supposed to play Saturday in the NBA Development League but was recalled to the Mavericks and scored nine points in 18 minutes.
Paul Millsap scored 24 points and Derrick Favors added 14 points for Utah.
Turkish center Enes Kanter played for 14 minutes for the Jazz, recording 4 rebounds and 1 point.