POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Dec 24, 2010
ORLANDO, Fla. » Otis Smith called Gilbert Arenas a "sleeping giant" before the Orlando Magic acquired Arenas in a blockbuster trade over the weekend.
This must be what Smith had in mind.
Arenas easily had the best performance of his brief Orlando tenure last night, flirting with a triple-double as the Magic clobbered the San Antonio Spurs, 123-101, at Amway Center.
In 28 minutes, Arenas scored 14 points, dished out nine assists and collected six rebounds. But more importantly, he helped put a little pep in an offense that desperately needed a spring in its step.
"What it does is, I think, it shows us what's possible," Van Gundy said.
The Magic had plodded on offense for much of the season, but yesterday, they scored a season-high 30 fastbreak points as Arenas helped lead the way.
With the win, Orlando snapped a four-game losing streak and won for just the second time in its last 10 games. The victory was a much-needed salve in a tough month that's seen key players suffer from a stomach virus, others sustain injuries and two starters get traded away.
Dwight Howard continued his stellar play, finishing with a game-high 29 points on 11-of-13 shooting and collecting a game-high 14 rebounds.
Five other Magic players scored in double figures: Brandon Bass, Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, Ryan Anderson and J.J. Redick.
But Arenas served as the sparkplug.
He entered the game late in the first quarter, with the Magic trailing 24-18.
He dished to Redick for a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 24-23.
On Orlando's next possession, Arenas swished a 20-foot jumper to tie the score at 26.
On the possession after that, he drained a trey from the top of the arc, to give Orlando a 28-26 lead.
The Magic never trailed again.
"For a team that hasn't practiced yet, really, to go out there and perform the way we did just shows how much talent we have in this room," Arenas said. "A month from now, we should be dangerous."
LeBron James scored 36 points, Chris Bosh had a double-double and visiting Miami beat Phoenix to set up a Christmas Day showdown with the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Heat played without star guard Dwyane Wade (knee), but didn't need him the way James and Bosh slashed through Phoenix's defense.
Bucks 84, Kings 79
Earl Boykins scored nine of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, rallying visiting Milwaukee to a victory over skidding Sacramento.
The win was the second straight for the Bucks without starting point guard Brandon Jennings, who underwent foot surgery Monday and will miss four to six weeks.
Turkoglu 5-10 0-0 11, Bass 8-11 1-2 17, Howard 11-13 7-12 29, Nelson 3-4 0-0 7, J.Richardson 7-14 0-0 15, Redick 6-8 0-0 17, R.Anderson 3-8 2-3 10, Arenas 6-14 0-0 14, Q.Richardson 0-0 0-0 0, Duhon 1-1 0-0 3, Clark 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 50-84 10-17 123.