Magic continue good start


ORLANDO — J.J. Redick scored 24 points off the bench as the Orlando Magic defeated the Phoenix Suns 115-94 to earn their second win of the season, Sunday night at the Amway Center in Downtown Orlando.

The Magic (2-0) exploded in the third quarter scoring a quarter-high 40 points to turn around the momentum of the game after trailing in the first half.

“We focused a little bit more,” said Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn. “A lot of factors, defensively we tightened up, and we were in the right places more often than not.”

With two of Orlando’s starters out, the Magic turned to veteran J.J. Redick to balance the scoring in order to overcome the deficit.

With three players scoring above 20 points, collaboration and sharing guided Orlando’s game play.

“I think that’s by design, the way Jacque wants things to go,” said Redick.

“It’s part of how our offense works. Our ‘bigs’ can have a game with six or eight assists because passing on the high posts. That’s going to be big for us all year, particularly when we face great defensive teams.”

With a second consecutive game scoring above the 100-point mark the Magic have, as Vaughn said, an established forward in Arron Afflalo, who brought much energy in the game-changing third quarter and at one point scored eight points unanswered.

With the assistance from Afflalo, Orlando kept the upper hand with a 23-8 run to end the third quarter.

“It’s all about your energy level, I thought we were lackadaisical on defense,” said Magic forward Afflalo. “Wasn’t really concerned about offense in the first half. We were giving up a lot of lay ups in the first half so the second half we buckled down on defense and ignited our offense.”

The newly added Luis Scola and Michael Beasley led the Phoenix Suns (1-2) with each scoring more than 20 points, though they couldn’t upset the efforts of the Magic.

“It might be better for them that they don’t have Dwight Howard,” said Suns forward Beasley. “Their all around scoring is better. When Dwight was here that wasn’t the necessarily the case. The way they moved the ball, the way they are sharing the ball and playing together, that is why they beat us today.”

Magic starters Jameer Nelson and Hedo Turkoglu both sat out, Nelson with a strained right groin and Turkoglu with a broken right hand.

With Orlando’s high scoring and continuous contribution early this season, they have a team with potential.

“This was a gutsy effort by the men in that locker room, and I’m extremely proud of them,” said Vaughn.

Orlando goes on the road for the next two games as they play Chicago on Tuesday, Nov. 6.