7:00 PM ET, December 30, 2009
Amway Arena, Orlando, FL
The arena fell silent. Fans sitting in the area checked to see if they could help. Nearly everyone stood to see how hurt the Orlando Magic's star offseason acquisition was. About 3 minutes later, still shaken, Carter finally stood up.
Then so did the Magic.
Carter overcame the hard collision to score 25 points, rallying the Magic for a 117-92 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night.
"I felt real dizzy, so I wanted to just lay there for a second and let everything get back together," Carter said. "Next thing you know, everything was lined up correctly."
Carter shook off the pain and never exited, igniting a 17-2 run after the play late in the third quarter that helped Orlando pull away.
"We let them get going a bit and the basket started looking like an ocean to some of their shooters," Bogut said.
Carter's big collision was the Magic spark.
Ilyasova was trying to take a charge but was called for a block. Carter clutched the right side of his head and neck, pulled his jersey over his head, lying on the ground four rows from his mother in the stands.
"He gave me a scare," his mother, Michelle Carter-Scott, said as she exited the arena. "I kept thinking, 'Get up, get up, get up.' Thank God he did."
Perhaps fired up that Carter never left the game, the Magic scored 13 straight points during the run to end the quarter with a 79-74 lead. Carter made two jumpers during that stretch, and Matt Barnes hit a pair of 3-pointers -- seven straight Orlando made from beyond the arc -- to help the Magic set a second-half franchise record with 78.4 percent shooting from the floor.
"I actually thought Coach was going to take me out," Carter said. "I was sitting on one knee just trying to gain my composure and I look and he said, 'All right, Vince, you're going to take the ball out.' I said, 'All right, keep it going.'"
Lost in the frantic rally was another poor outing by Magic starting point guard Jameer Nelson. He was just 1 for 7 and hasn't yet found his rhythm since returning from arthroscopic left knee surgery.
Nelson said he was dealing with a "family issue" the night before and has struggled with the limited practice minutes trainers have him on for his rehab. It doesn't help that Williams has been playing well in his absence.
"I do think we're going to have to evaluate where we're at with Jameer," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said.
The Bucks never recovered from the big second-half push.
Until the collision, they seemed to have the right formula.
Bogut was aggressive early and got Howard in foul trouble in the first and second quarters. He took advantage with Howard sidelined, helping the Bucks score 10 straight points to take a 21-11 lead in the opening quarter.
Orlando was able to keep it close.
Carter's one-handed layup with his back to the basket over Bogut wowed the home crowd, but that would be about the only highlight for the Magic in the half. Bogut and the Bucks' frontline twice disrupted alley-oop dunks by Howard, and they held Orlando to 1-for-9 shooting from 3-point range to go ahead 49-41.
"We needed some more resistance out of Andrew," Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. "We had trouble in the painted area. We threw up a lot of shots in the painted area and we just didn't make them."
Thursday night was the 19-year anniversary of Skiles' NBA-record 30 assists during the Magic's 155-116 victory against Denver. Skiles, who spent five seasons with Orlando, said there's hardly a place he goes where people don't ask about that game. "No offense, but I'll be glad the day it is (broken) because I get kind of tired of talking about it some times," Skiles said. "It's one of those things where it all came together in one night. Yeah, it'll be broken at some point." ... Some of the Bucks staff attended the Champs Sports Bowl on Tuesday night, when Wisconsin beat Miami 20-14.
ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 30: Rashard Lewis #9 of the Orlando Magic shoots against Andrew Bogut #6 of the Milwaukee...(Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||38-97 (.392)||43-77 (.558)|
|3PM-3PA||9-22 (.409)||10-21 (.476)|
|FTM-FTA||7-9 (.778)||21-26 (.808)|
|Fast Break Points||12||14|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||21 (0/0)||16 (1/0)|
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