Magic Vs. Wizards: Orlando Cruises In GIlbert Arenas' Return to DC

Gilbert Arenas makes his return to Washington with the Orlando Magic as the Wizards try to put another winless road trip behind them.

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Magic Vs. Wizards: Orlando Wins 110-92 In Gilbert Arenas' Return to DC

Gilbert Arenas didn't have a big game, but his new outfit, the Orlando Magic, came away with a 110-92 win against the Wizards on Friday night at the Verizon Center.

In fact, nobody outside of Dwight Howard was particularly notable for the Magic, who shot did not have a good shooting night from the field or behind the three-point line, especially through the first three quarters. But the Wizards turned the ball over XX times and could not get their own offense juice enough to compete.

The frustration manifested itself in the fourth quarter when John Wall picked up a technical after a questionable loose ball foul on Dwight Howard. Orlando's All-Star center seemed to be at least as guilty during the tussle.

That wasn't the only damage Howard did on the court. He finished with XX points and XX rebounds.

One positive programming note for the Wizards, Trevor Booker went off in his reserve roll. The 6-foot-8 forward finished with six (!) blocks and six rebounds, provided some much needed hustle. If the Wizards problems on the road are indeed effort-based, Booker should see some more burn next time the Wizards leave home


Magic Vs. Wizards: Magic Widening Lead, Up 73-64 After Third Quarter

Dwight Howard took two mid-range jump shots toward the end of the third quarter, making one. It's not garbage time in Washington yet, but it feels a little bit like that as the Magic have pushed their lead to nine points -- score: 73-64 -- against the Wizards.

Howard is leading the Magic with 22 points and has only missed one shot (10-of-11 from the field).

John Wall has 12 points, 5 rebounds and four assists, but he also has three turnovers, and has had trouble handling the ball in transition. That has contributed to the Wizards 14 turnovers compared to six for the Magic. Orlando has 10 steals. Meanwhile, Nick Young has missed nine of his 15 shots.

Orlando is having a horrible shooting night -- 31-for-75 from the field -- but Washington has failed to capitalize because it keeps giving the ball away. Well, that and Washington isn't shooting to well itself.


Magic Vs. Wizards: Magic Lead Wizards 51-49 At Half In Gilbert Arenas' Return

Hey, the Wizards are back in this game, trailing the Magic 51-49 at halftime after it looked like Orlando would run away with this one early.

Washington received good minutes off the bench up front from Trevor Booker (4 points, 5 rebounds, 4 blocks) Yi Jianlian (6 points, 3 rebounds). That was big since the Magic hurt the Wizards inside in the first quarter (18-10 advantage on points in the paint, 16-9 advantage on the glass).

We mentioned the Wizards poor interior defense in the preview, and sure enough Dwight Howard has 13 points and nine rebounds at the half, while Ryan Anderson added 10 points and four boards. Booker played 9:36 minutes in the first half, but that number should probably increase in the second half. We'll see if it does.

As for your Gilbert Arenas update? The agent formerly known as Zero finished the half with six points and two steals, but has missed all three attempts from behind the three-point line.


Magic Vs. Wizards: Gilbert Arenas Enters, Is Mostly Cheered As Magic Lead 29-21 After First Quarter

Gilbert Arenas checked into the game late in the first quarter for the first time since getting traded to the Orlando Magic, coming in to mostly cheers, though there were a few boos in there. Arenas did not score in his reserve role, but the Magic did well, and currently lead the Wizards 29-21 after one quarter.

The Wizards got off to a decent start, but Orlando began dominating the glass and pulling ahead, thanks to Dwight Howard and Ryan Anderson. JaVale McGee went coast-to-coast for a bad turnover, drawing the ire of coach Flip Saunders, though McGee would stay in the game. Rashard Lewis, playing his former team for the first time, clanked two open threes off the front rim, preventing the Wizards from getting off well early.

Orlando pushed its lead to 23-13 on an alleyoop to Howard, prompting a timeout from Flip Saunders at the 4:02 mark. Two layups by Anderson and another alleyoop to Howard pushed the lead to 14 points, but the Wizards rallied late to account for the 29-21 margin.


Magic Vs. Wizards: Gilbert Arenas Returns to John Wall's Verizon Center

Yes, Gilbert Arenas makes his return to Washington with the Orlando Magic tonight to face his old team. But more importantly ... the Wizards are back at the Verizon Center -- a place where they score more points on average than their opponents!

John Wall and co. are back in the district after going 0-4 on the latest rendition of their traveling sideshow (The Wizards are now 0-25 on the road, thanks to poor road defense and a lack of several other critical elements needed to win basketball games.)

Somewhat surprisingly, the Wizards have been respectable at home, owning a 13-10 record at the Phone Booth. That's in line with more well-regarded teams like the Knicks (13-10), Suns (14-10) and Rockets (13-10), and it's ahead of Eastern Conference 8-seed contenders like the Bobcats (12-11), Pacers (12-11) and Bucks (11-10).

But this four-game home stand will test the Wizards. The Magic, Hawks, Bucks and Spurs are coming to town, and they bring a combined record of 122-74 (.622 win percentage).

Making it even tougher is the personnel of these opponents, each of which should expect to exploit the Wizards lack of interior defense. Dwight Howard, Al Horford, Andrew Bogut, Tim Duncan are all stopping by. Good luck, Andray Blatche, JaVale McGee and Hilton Armstrong.

Tonight's game, however, will be as much a chance to revisit the Arenas saga -- and look at where it's gone -- as it will be about basketball. Story lines like that sometimes take precedence over the game in an 82-game season, especially one like this Wizards campaign.

Gilbert has already said some interesting stuff in an exclusive interview with Comcast's Chris Miller. Check it out and join the discussion on Bullets Forever.

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