NBA Game Summary - Milwaukee at Orlando
(Wednesday, October 31st)
Final Score: Orlando 102, Milwaukee 83
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Rashard Lewis had a triumphant debut in Orlando, scoring 26 points and grabbing six rebounds, as the Magic blitzed the Milwaukee Bucks, 102-83, in the season opener for both teams at Amway Arena.
Lewis was signed to a lucrative multi-year contract by Seattle then shipped to the Magic in exchange for a conditional second-round draft choice. His first regular-season game in Orlando put magic in the air, as Hedo Turkoglu benefited from Lewis' presence for 24 points on 8-of-15 shooting.
"We got the win, that's the most important thing," said Lewis. "But I feel good. I thought we didn't play very good defense in the first half, picked it up in the second half. But the most important thing is that we got the win."
Jameer Nelson, fresh off his own multi-year contract extension agreed to Wednesday, struggled to a 2-of-10 shooting night for 10 points, but the point guard did dish out seven assists.
The new blood even outplayed Orlando's best returning starter, Dwight Howard, who added a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds along with seven blocks. New head coach Stan Van Gundy, who took over after University of Florida head coach Billy Donovan slipped out of town after initially accepting the head position, oversaw his Magic outscore the Bucks, 54-37, in the second half.
"Obviously that game was all about the third quarter," said Van Gundy. "I thought we were outstanding. I thought at both ends of the floor our focus was really good to start the third quarter."
Michael Redd scored 25 points, despite missing all five of his three-point attempts, in defeat and Bobby Simmons added 18 points. Andrew Bogut struggled to a four-point night on 2-of-9 shooting, but the Utah product did corral 11 rebounds.
"There was not too much I liked out there tonight," said Redd. "The third quarter just murdered us."
Yi Jianlian, Milwaukee's first-round draft pick, scored nine points with three rebounds before fouling out.
Orlando dominated on both ends of the floor in the deciding third quarter. The Bucks actually held a 56-55 advantage before completely falling apart offensively, scoring just six more points over the final eight minutes.
Holding a 63-58 lead after Charlie Villanueva's layup, Orlando reeled off 11 consecutive points for a 16-point lead. The Magic lived behind the arc during the brief stretch, draining a trio of three-pointers capped by Lewis' deep jumper off the feed from Nelson.
After a Redd jumper, the Magic made their fourth and fifth consecutive three- pointers, as Lewis and Keyon Dooling stepped beyond the arc for an 80-60 game.
Orlando led 83-62 after three and continued the onslaught in the final 12 minutes.
A back-and-forth opening half ended with Orlando holding a 48-46 lead. The Bucks took a 41-34 edge on Charlie Bell's three-pointer, but the Magic responded with eight straight points capped by Turkoglu's jumper.
Both star players had a solid first half with Redd pouring home 18 points and Lewis piling in 17 points.
The game featured 16 ties and 15 lead changes before the Magic took control in the third quarter...Milwaukee grabbed 18 offensive rebounds...The Bucks drained 12-of-22 from beyond the arc...Milwaukee visits Charlotte on Friday...The Magic host Detroit on Friday...In all, the Magic made six straight three-pointers and seven of eight in the third quarter...Orlando has won eight of its last 10 season openers...Attendance 17,519.
10/31 23:44:41 ET