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News » Orlando Magic Getting Inside 2009-05-18

Orlando Magic Getting Inside 2009-05-18

Orlando Magic Getting Inside 2009-05-18
The Magic beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in two of the three games they played during the regular season.

They won't forget that.

While most everyone assumes that LeBron James and the Cavaliers have reserved their spot in the NBA Finals, the Magic believe they can beat the Cavaliers in the Eastern final just like they did the Boston Celtics in the second round.

"Cleveland is a great team, but when we play defense, play with effort and energy like we have, we can beat anyone," said Magic center Dwight Howard. "Our goal is to win an NBA title. We've just gotten one step closer."

The Magic/Cavs matchup could be the first of many in the coming years because Howard and James are both only 24.

The Magic are back in the conference final for the first time since 1996, when Shaquille O'Neal and Penny Hardaway made the Magic one of the most exciting teams in the league.

This team is similar in that it revolves around Howard dominating inside, and he is surrounded by good shooters, much like O'Neal was when he played with the Magic.

"Our goal from training camp was to win a championship," Howard said. "We're one step closer now. We still have a long way to go, but if we played every game like we did the last two, we're moving in that direction."

While the Magic needed six games to beat Philadelphia in the first round and seven to beat Boston in the second, the Cavs have cruised through two sweeps, beating Detroit and then Atlanta without breaking much of a sweat.

MAGIC 101, CELTICS 82: Hedo Turkoglu saved his best game for his last game of the series, getting 25 points and 12 assists to carry the Magic through Game 7 in Boston. Turkoglu has been up and down throughout the playoffs, failing to find any consistency since sustaining a sprained ankle with three games left in the regular season. Howard had 12 points, 16 rebounds and five blocked shots. Rashard Lewis also was big with 19 points, while Mickael Pietrus had 17 in an important reserve role.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 18, 2009


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