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Orlando's Tough Task posted on 12/09/2008

The Portland Trailblazers, with a 15-7 record, have yet to lose at the Rose Garden this season, add in the fact that out of 8 contests they've only fallen once to a team from the Eastern Conference and it becomes clear that the Orlando Magic will need to come out guns blazing to build on to their current three game win streak.

The Trailblazers will be lead by the impressive Brandon Roy who is currently averaging just over 20 points a game with 5 assists yet has been struggling the last couple of games.  Roy, who had 27 points against his first encounter with Orlando this season, finished at Toronto with just 15 points which was still an improvement over the game prior in which he had only 12 against the Celtics.  Roy will surely be looking to dupicate his November performance against the Magic all the while hoping that Hedo Turkoglu and Dwight Howard do not.

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Return of Duo Guards to Help Magic on Road posted on 12/07/2008

Friday night not only saw the Magic win their second straight in Orlando before leaving on a five game road journey but also the the return of Jameer Nelson and Keith Bogans.  And while Orlando, despite their roster often limping into games, has stayed atop the Southeast with a 15-5 record, though Atlanta only trails by a few games with a 12-7 record, the return of these two well rounded athletes will certainly aid the Magic to gain on the Celtics lead of the Eastern Conference, especially with Mickael Pietrus sidelined for another several weeks.

Once again, Dwight Howard proved dominant during Friday's victory over the Thunder with 21 points, 23 rebounds, and 6 blocks, however, the remainder of the roster was, seemingly, playing down for the struggling Oklahoma City.  Turkoglu shot just 5-17, Rashard Lewis was only a couple of percentage points better shooting 5-15, and Redick, who had limited playing time, contributed just 8 points.  Nelson put up decent numbers, a welcome showing for Orlando fans, shooting 60% and nailing all 3 of his three point attempts.  And the Magic bench, lead by Bogans, totaled 30.

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Courtney Lee Helps Magic Topple T-Wolves posted on 12/04/2008

The Magic bounced back after a subpar performance against the Celtics to defeat the Timberwolves 100-89 Wednesday night.  Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu combined for 68 points and Orlando, as a whole, shot well, knocking down 57% of their field goals.

Yet Orlando's three biggest names certainly weren't the biggest thing in Orlando on this particular night, instead it was rookie shooting guard Courtney Lee who had an impressive 19 points off the bench.  Lee, in recent week's has seen his playing time increase due in large part to the injuries on the Magic roster and the poor play of J.J. Redick.  In the last three games, Lee has played 28, 27 and 34 minutes.  Lee's performance on Wednesday was, no pun intended, simply magical.  He went 8-10 and tacked on 3 three pointers.  Add in his three steals, four rebounds and three assists and the rookie easily put on the greatest performance of the evening.  With Courtney Lee performing at this level of play, we can expect to see more and more of him.

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Lewis' 30 Not Enough Against Boston posted on 12/02/2008

Rashard Lewis tallied 30 points while Dwight Howard grabbed 15 boards and had 4 blocks, yet it was the Celtics who left Monday victorious.  And while Boston's ability is certainly not to be taken lightly, it was the Magic that defeated themselves having only hit 42% of their field goals and shooting a mere 19% from behind the arc; the Magic's free throw shooting was also lackluster, having missed a total of ten. 

Whatever be the reason, poor shooting, an injury stricken team, the lack of Dwight Howard in the offensive game plan, the fact remains that the Magic were simply not on the level of the Celtics as they went down (though for only the second time this season on the road) 88-107.  And while Orlando will have the better part of two months to prepare for another bout with, perhaps, the most explosive team in the league, their focus now has shifted towards Minnesota and, perhaps more importantly, adding another number to the win column.

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Magic Rout Pacers; Prepare to Face Celtics posted on 11/30/2008

In front of 17,000 plus, despite a standout performance by Indiana's Danny Granger, the Orlando Magic extended their win streak to 4 and their record to 13 wins with just 4 losses.

And while the day was special to Anthony Johnson, who put up his best numbers of the year with 16 points, it was Dwight Howard who would lay claim to the Magic's victory as his own.  Howard, who had more rebounds than the rest of the Magic combined with 21, put up an amazing 32 points, outshining Granger by 5.

Howard and Johnson weren't alone in attacking the net, however, Rashard Lewis put up 24 of his own and Hedo Turkoglu added on another 22, the Magic were truly at the top of their game Saturday night and while one Magic fan may have left for home with a lap full of a $9 chilli dog, the remaining 17,171 fans left with nothing but pride in the home team.

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