Relive the Magic!

Use our searchable database below to get scores and stories on every Magic game and every Magic player from 1989 to present.

Enter keyword: (Ex: "Grant Hill")



Send us your feedback








Orlando MagicMilwaukee Bucks


By Tim Povtak | Sentinel Staff Writer
Friday, February 16, 1996 | Home Game

This looked almost too easy for a record that stood for so long.

The Orlando Magic crushed the Milwaukee Bucks with overpowering efficiency, 121-91, Friday night to tie a 49-year-old NBA record for consecutive victories at home (27) to start a season.

They can break the NBA record - set by the Washington Capitols in the NBA's first season - Tuesday night against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Now if only they could bottle this formula and take it on the road.

The Magic play the Heat in Miami tonight, hoping to improve their 9-14 record away from home.

Shaquille O'Neal, in his second outstanding performance since he returned from the All-Star Weekend, had 31 points and 10 rebounds in just 32 minutes, setting the tone and deciding the game in the first quarter.

O'Neal came out smoking, allowing the Magic to dispose of the Bucks as if they were taking out the trash.

He had 19 points in the first 12 minutes, abusing Milwaukee center Benoit Benjamin and closing the period with the first 3-point basket of his NBA career.

''That was like pouring salt on an already open wound,'' Milwaukee's Vin Baker said. ''And we never got back into it.''

It was the second consecutive lopsided victory for the Magic, who had vowed to play with more intensity after the All-Star break. On Tuesday night, they beat the Denver Nuggets by 28 points in much the same style. They smothered both opponents.

''We'd like to think this is a sign of things to come,'' said Penny Hardaway, who had 24 points and 10 assists. ''And if we can take this mentality on the road, then it's going to be trouble for a lot of people.''

It was 40-25 after the first quarter, the most points the Magic have scored in a period this season. The Bucks had no spark early, and they never found one.

The Magic shot a season-high 60.3 percent from the field (47 of 78), 53.8 percent from the 3-point line (7 of 13) and held a 45-38 rebound edge. They made 13 steals and scored 56 points from inside the lane.

''That was as efficient as we've been offensively in a long time,'' Magic coach Brian Hill said. ''We wanted to jump on them right from the beginning and take it to them, get them down and keep them down. That's the thing I've been happiest about since the All-Star break.''

Forward Horace Grant had 10 points and 11 rebounds. Donald Royal, in his most minutes in a month, had 11 points and six rebounds. Reserves Joe Wolf and Jon Koncak each had eight points.

''We're fooling ourselves if we think the last two opponents were contenders, but our focus was good,'' Koncak said. ''Our best players need to lead, and I thought Shaq really has picked up the pace. We're all feeding off that.''

The Magic scored 18 consecutive points early in the first quarter - including eight by O'Neal - and took all the fight out of the Bucks. By halftime, they led, 64-48, and were shooting 68.3 percent from the field. The Bucks, who beat the Washington Bullets, 109-98, on Thursday night, put up little resistance.

After the first quarter, the Bucks managed to reduce the deficit to fewer than 10 points only once. They closed to 57-48 late in the second quarter, but the Magic answered with seven consecutive points.

Reserve Marty Conlon was Milwaukee's only bright spot. He had 13 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists in 23 minutes. Benjamin also had 13 points and seven rebounds, but he did not even slow down O'Neal.

Baker, the team's only All-Star, had 10 points and eight rebounds in 39 minutes. He was never a factor.

Although tying the record was a significant accomplishment for the Magic, tonight's game in Miami seemed much more on their minds as they left the locker room Friday night.

''This is all well and good,'' Grant said. ''But the real test will come in Miami. It looks like we're playing with more intensity and playing better defense, but it's easy to do at home. Now, let's see what happens on the road.''


Related Magic Moments