TrueHoop: Nick Van Exel
April, 23, 2011
By ESPN Stats & Info
In a series that has been defined by bench play -- or lack thereof for the Magic -- Crawford led all scorers with 23 points off the bench, with 12 coming in the final frame.
For the third straight game Crawford single-handedly outscored the Magic reserves. For the series, Crawford has scored 71 points, while Orlando's subs have combined for just 43 points.
Crawford is one of only seven players in the past 20 seasons to have three consecutive 20-point games off the bench in a single postseason. Only two players have done it in four straight games -- Nick Van Exel in 2003 for the Mavericks and Kevin McHale for the Celtics in 1991.
Crawford did most of his damage when guarded by Jameer Nelson, who had actually held Crawford to 38.9 percent shooting over the past two seasons.
However Friday night Crawford scored 17 of his 23 points when checked by Nelson, making five of his nine field goal attempts. He was just 2-for-10 when guarded by other players.
Although the Hawks managed to win Game 3, Atlanta has gotten progressively worse at shooting jump shots during their series with the Magic. After shooting 51.4 percent (19-37) on jumpers in Game 1, the Hawks made only 42.0 percent (21-50) in Game 2, and 32.6 percent (16-49) Friday.
However the Magic have not been able to capitalize as they have shot poorly throughout the series as well, particularly from behind the three-point line.
Orlando made just eight of its 28 three-point attempts (28.6 percent) and have now shot under 30 percent from three-point range in each game of this series.
During the 82-game regular season they had only two streaks of three straight games in which they failed to shoot at least 30-percent from long distance.
One of the main cogs in the Magic's struggle has been the inability to get Hedo Turkoglu on track. Turkoglu is shooting just 25 percent on field goal attempts from beyond 10 feet and only 17.6 percent from behind the three-point line.
During the Magic's run to the NBA Finals two season ago, Turkoglu shot 42.3 percent from 10-feet and beyond, including 38.6 percent from three-point range.
One thing is for sure though; Magic fans cannot blame Dwight Howard for how this series has gone. Howard notched 21 points and 15 rebounds and is now averaging 33.3 points and 17.7 rebounds per game for the series.
According to Elias, Howard is the fifth player since the NBA merger (1976-77) to record 20 points and 15 rebounds in each of his first three games of a postseason. The last player to do so was Dirk Nowitzki back in 2001.