Jameer Nelson, J.J. Redick Lead Way as Magic Rip Raptors

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Jameer Nelson, J.J. Redick Lead Way as Magic Rip Raptors TORONTO — J.J. Redick lived up to his college coach’s prediction and delivered a career performance.

Jameer Nelson scored 30 points,
Redick had a career-high 27 and the Orlando Magic used a season-high 17
3-pointers to beat the Toronto Raptors 125-116 on Sunday.

A four-year starter at Duke, Redick
received an encouraging telephone call from former coach Mike
Krzyzewski
after Orlando’s win at New Jersey last Friday.

“Coach K called me right after the
game,” Redick said. “He said, ‘It’s right there, you’re going to have
one of your games where you knock down five or six 3s.’ I didn’t know
it would be this soon.”

Redick, Nelson and Ryan Anderson each
made five 3-pointers. Anderson had 20 points, Dwight Howard had 24
points and 11 rebounds and the Magic (3-0) remained unbeaten after
going 8-0 in the preseason.

Like Krzyzewski, Howard knew Redick was due for a solid showing.

“A couple of games in preseason he
wasn’t shooting the ball well,” Howard said. “He didn’t get down on
himself but he got a little frustrated. We both got in the gym and we
just kept working on whatever. He was working on his jump shot and I
was working on my free throws.”

The extra work paid off for both of them: Howard went 14 of 16 from the line Sunday.

Redick and Matt Barnes started in
place of Vince Carter, who left Friday’s game with a sprained left
ankle, and Mickael Pietrus, who was sent home to Florida earlier Sunday
with flu-like symptoms. The Magic were also without the suspended
Rashard Lewis.

In his pregame address, Magic coach
Stan Van Gundy told his team he didn’t expect anyone to replace the
high-flying style of the three missing wings.

“We said, ‘You’ve got to play your
own game, you can’t play Vince’s game or anything else, but you’ve got
to play your game at a very high level,'” Van Gundy said. “Those guys
did. Jameer, J.J., Dwight, Ryan and Matt were all outstanding.”

Carter, who scored 16 points in 15
minutes before leaving in the second quarter Friday, did some
straight-line running before the game and could return Tuesday at
Detroit.

“He’s still struggling to move
laterally,” Van Gundy said before the game. “It’s a tough loss for us
but it’s a good sign that he could go out and do the other stuff. It’s
not anything real long term or serious, so that’s positive.”

Pietrus will rejoin the team when his symptoms improve.

Chris Bosh led Toronto with 35
points and 16 rebounds while Andrea Bargnani had 26, including 22 in
the second half. Former Magic swingman Hedo Turkoglu had 19 points for
Toronto, which has lost two straight following a season-opening victory
over Cleveland.

Redick said it was “weird” to see Turkoglu in a Raptors jersey.

“It was a little bit different to
see him on the other side,” Redick said. “He was doing the same things
that he did for us for so long.”

Trailing by 10 points on Barnes’
3-pointer with 7:30 left, Toronto cut it to four on a running dunk by
Bosh, a layup from Turkoglu and a jumper by Bosh over Howard, making it
111-107 with 5:27 to go.

At the other end, Howard took
exception to a foul from Bosh, who put both arms around Howard’s upper
body under the basket, then jawed with the Magic star, but the referees
stepped in before the situation escalated. Howard made both free
throws, pushing the lead back to six.

Bargnani made two more layups but
the Magic answered each time, with Anderson and Howard each scoring off
Nelson’s misses keep the Raptors at bay.

“We were sucking wind a little bit
there but we hung on and got the job done,” Van Gundy said. “When they
got the lead cut down, we made some big plays.”

Anderson had three 3s in the first quarter as the Magic went 7 for 11 from beyond the arc and built a 36-28 lead.

“Those (3-pointers) put us behind early and it was tough to fight back,” Toronto coach Jay Triano said.

Orlando opened the second quarter on
an 18-4 run, taking a 54-32 lead with 7:03 left, before Toronto
answered with a 14-3 spurt over the next 5 minutes, cutting the deficit
to 57-46. Howard was forced to the locker room with a right shoulder
injury with 2:21 left in the half and did not return before the break,
but Orlando held firm without its star center and led 64-53 at
halftime.

“He’s such a tough guy to play
against so, to keep him off the boards, every time he was going up he
was getting his arm grabbed,” Van Gundy said. “I saw it on the one
play, they just pull his arm back. That’s a tough injury on his
shoulder.”

Still in pain, Howard returned to
start the second half and scored nine points in the third quarter,
while Nelson made three 3s and scored 14 points as Orlando took a 99-89
lead into the fourth.

Toronto guard Jose Calderon went
four for six from the free throw line and has already missed more free
throws this season (four) than he did all of last season, when he set
an NBA record by shooting 98.1 percent (151 for 154).

Notes
Bosh got a technical foul for
arguing a non-call on a blocked shot in the first, and Barnes got one
after tangling with Bargnani as they went for a rebound in the third.
… Redick’s previous career high was 18, April 16, 2008 against
Washington.

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