Nelson's 30 points lead unbeaten Magic to win over 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 flulike 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 to 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).
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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