Magic blitz Kings, set NBA record from long rangeJan 14, 2009 - 7:15 AM By Tom Galland PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
SACRAMENTO, California (Ticker) -- The Orlando Magic set an NBA record by hitting 23 3-pointers in a 139-107 romp over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday.
Orlando, which won its fifth straight, had nine players connect from long range.
Jameer Nelson hit 5-of-5 from beyond the arc to lead the way. Overall, Orlando was 23-of-37 from long range (62 percent) and 49-of-81 overall (60.5 percent).
"The guys on the bench were yelling about (setting the record) when we got to 20, but I didn't have any idea nor did I care," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "But I will say that any night you make 20-plus threes, you're probably going to win."
The record-breaker was hit by Jeremy Richardson in the fourth quarter, surpassing the previous mark set by Toronto in March of 2005.
With Dwight Howard also dominating inside to the tune of 25 points and 15 rebounds, it was a near-flawless performance by the Magic (31-8) that further cemented their status as one of the elite teams in the NBA.
"We're having fun, just trying to win and keep it going," Howard said. "When we play like we played tonight, it just makes everything a lot better."
Howard was not one of the Magic players to hit a three but still felt he played a role in their success.
"I shot a couple before the game," Howard quipped. "I've been talking with my teammates about their form."
Whatever Howard and the Magic are doing, it's working.
Orlando has won 14 of 16 and is clearly becoming a powerhouse team after deftly filling its roster with shooters to complement the outstanding interior play of Howard, the man dubbed Superman after his All-Star dunk championship last season.
"We play through Superman," said Rashard Lewis, who had three 3-pointers in a 19-point performance. "It's just play through him and he opens up a lot of opportunities for other guys, and we have a lot of guys who really like to make the extra pass, find the open guy."
Four Magic players had at least five 3-point attempts during the contest, and each hit more than half of them with rarely a defender there to challenge.
"The threes we got, it's not like we were taking contested ones," Van Gundy said. "(The Kings) were choosing to trap our pick-and-rolls and sink into the lane to take Dwight not the roll. There (are) two guys open every time you do that. We put four 3-point shooters out there. They got good shots."
"We scored a lot of points, shot a great percentage, but we've definitely got to work on our defense," Nelson said. "Especially coming up against the Lakers (Friday)."
Kevin Martin, who led the Kings with 30 points, tried to bring his team back with 10 points in less than two minutes to open the second half. But Nelson would have none of it, delivering 11 points in the third and lobbing a perfect alley-oop pass to Howard for a dunk that made it 85-66 with 8 1/2 minutes left in the quarter.
Hedo Turkoglu's 3-pointer extended the lead to 28 points five minutes later and eliminated what little doubt in the outcome remained.
"They just kept making their shots," Martin said. "We had a lot of defensive lapses tonight and we just didn't play smart. We have a game (Wednesday), and that is the best thing out of this game tonight."
The Magic scored at least 32 points in every quarter, notching a season high in points and the most since a 152-point barrage at Milwaukee in 1995.
"It was our fault in regard to how we came out and challenged them," Kings interim coach Kenny Natt said. "We left the perimeter open, we sucked in - did exactly what we asked our players not to do."
SACRAMENTO 107 FINAL
Jan 14 12:27 AM
SACRAMENTO 85 END, 3RD QTR
Jan 13 11:55 PM
SACRAMENTO 56 HALFTIME
Jan 13 11:12 PM
SACRAMENTO 29 END, 1ST QTR
Jan 13 10:40 PM
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