Southeast division roundup: Orlando's first place magic trick

Southeast division roundup: Orlando's first place magic trick
November 5, 2012, 2:30 am
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Orlando Magic: Before we go any further, let me note that these teams are listed in current standings order...No Dwight Howard was not shipped back to Central Florida. Actually, the Magic (2-0) didn't have starters Jameer Nelson or Hedo Turkoglu Sunday night against Phoenix - and for over two quarters, it showed. The Suns led by 14 points in the third before the Magic stormed back for a stunning 115-94. J.J. Redick paced five double-digit scorers with 24 points before a crowd of 17,022 inside the Amway Center. Why mention the attendance? This game marked the first non-sellout since Jan. 6 2009, the Orlando Sentinel reported. If this Michael Beasley quote proves accurate - and it would be a stunner if so - except full houses again soon. Said the Suns forward, "It might be better for them that they don't have Dwight Howard. Their all-around scoring is better."

Miami Heat: Admit it or not but Wizards' fans will keep an eye on those that played here last season, but have, um, moved on. Traded to and amnestied by the Hornets before signing as a free agent with the Heat, Rashard Lewis figures to get nothing but open looks playing for the star-studded defending champions. In three games with the Heat (2-1), the perimeter threat is averaging 9.3 points, including a 16-point effort Nov.2 in a loss to the Knicks. Last season in 28 games with Washington - he missed the final 33 games, never quite making it back from an injury -, Lewis scored at least 16 points twice. If this keeps up, those keeping tabs will be doing some rolling with those eyes.

Charlotte Hornets: Any "break up the Hornets" talk after the opening game 90-89 shocker over Indiana ended with 24 hours after a road trip to Dallas included a 124-99 pounding by the Mavericks. Nobody really expected a win even without Dirk Nowitzki sidelined because Charlotte simply does not beat Dallas. Ever, never, ever...never. The Bobcats fell to 0-16 in the series, the Charlotte Observer reported. Allowing Dallas to shoot 61 percent from the field might have had something to do with this latest loss. On the glass half full front, Bobcats free agent acquisition and point guard Ramon Sessions finished with 22 points, five assists, and four rebounds.

Atlanta Hawks: Speaking of free agent signings, Lou Williams is quickly doing his part to have folks forget Joe Johnson. On the road in Oklahoma City against the defending Western Conference champions, Williams scored 14 of the Hawks (1-1) final 23 points including a run of 10 straight as Atlanta silenced the Thunder for a 104-95 win on Sunday night. Still not sure the logic of why Philadelphia let Williams go - replacing him with Nick Young to boot. The folks in Atlanta, at least the small faction that care about the Hawks (or pro sports) surely don't care what the Sixers were thinking, but are just happy they did. Williams, who finished with 19 against Oklahoma City, also led the Hawks with 22 points in the opening game loss to the Rockets.