The Orlando Magic win their second game in a row, defeating the New Orleans Hornets 88-83. Steve Francis had another big game with 24 points and 8 rebounds. Dwight Howard recorded his third straight double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Howard seems to be finally coming around and putting up the kind of numbers we expect from him.
Aside from a couple small problems on offense, I thought the Magic did a great job of controlling the tempo of the game. The team played good defense, keeping the game at a slow pace for most of the game. I think the players are finally starting to the results of all the hard work. Certainly winning games helps to build confidence, but the Magic have been close through most of every game. The thing about playing good defense is it allows the Magic to be in a position to win late in the game. No longer are we down by 20 entering the fourth quarter. And I think we have players on our team that can run the floor with almost anyone in the league. So, late in games, we have the ability to turn it up a notch if needed.
Positives from night were energy was great; three point and free throw shooting was improved; they out-rebounded the Hornets 43-33.
Now for the negative things. We only had 15 assists, though that was on 28 field goals. I think the guards are capable of more. 20 turnovers, ouch.
All around, the Magic played even better than last night. I'm enjoying watching this team play. I'd like to see a few more players involved in the rotation and a few less minutes with the starters, but we're getting there.