Magic 125, 76ers 111

Not one to soak in a moment, even Stan Van Gundy couldn’t sweep

history aside.

In a rare step for the live-and-die-with-every-play coach, Van

Gundy stood at the center of the Orlando Magic’s locker room and

thanked his players for a “great” regular season that was capped

with some momentous milestones.

Now the playoffs await.

Jameer Nelson had 21 points, Vince Carter scored 17 and the

Magic broke the single-season record for 3-pointers made in their

125-111 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night.

“I know it doesn’t mean anything going forward into the

playoffs, but I can’t just discount 6 1/2 months of work that these

guys have put in and say it doesn’t mean anything,” Van Gundy

said. “It means a helluva lot.”

It was a truly Magic night.

They finished with 841 from beyond the arc, the NBA’s

second-best record and closed the last regular-season game at Amway

Arena in style. Fans gave Orlando a standing ovation in the final

minute, and streamers flowed down to the court after the

buzzer.

“Even a pat on the back from Stan,” Magic forward Matt Barnes

said. “I don’t even know what that’s like.”

The 76ers were merely spectators.

Marreese Speights’ 23 points capped a sorry Sixers season and

perhaps the last game in Eddie Jordan’s tenure as coach.

Philadelphia ended with a 27-55 record and has nothing but an

offseason of big decisions ahead.

“I’m humbled that among a lot of things we looked forward to a

very successful season, successful only in the fact that we got

through 82 games with a lot of good work ethic and growth,” said

Jordan, adding he won’t fret over his job security.

The milestones for the Magic were almost too many to count.

They passed the 2005-06 Phoenix Suns’ record of 837 3-pointers

in a season. They clinched the second-best record (59-23) behind

Cleveland to give them home-court advantage if they reach the NBA

finals, and they played the last regular-season game in the only

arena they’ve known for 21 years. The Magic move into the new Amway

Center next season.

Howard also cemented his status as the only player to lead the

league in blocks (2.92) and rebounds (13.8) in the same season

twice – let alone in consecutive years – to make him the

front-runner for back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year awards.

Bill Walton, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hakeem Olajuwon and Ben Wallace

each led the league in those categories once in the same

season.

“Everybody in this locker room looks for me to be a leader,”

Howard said. “When they see I’m serious about dominating, they get

serious, too.”

This was a night Orlando didn’t want to waste.

The Magic shot 83 percent in the first quarter, made eight

3-pointers by the half – eclipsing the record on Carter’s shot in

the closing seconds of the second quarter – took a 27-point lead in

the third quarter and cruised to victory.

Orlando has won 20 of its last 23 games, entering the playoffs

against Charlotte this weekend as one of the hottest teams.

“It’s not like we’re coming out in these games and screwing

around and winning by four or six,” Van Gundy said. “The second

half of the year, when we’ve had teams that we’re supposed to beat,

we’ve drilled them.”

The Sixers were merely a footnote.

Criticized by fans and media from the day he arrived last year,

Jordan walked off the court perhaps for the final time as

Philadelphia’s coach. There has been much speculation over the last

two months that he’ll be fired once the season is over.

“Certainly, I will be judged on the record,” Jordan said. “On

that alone, I don’t know. That’s for other people to decide.”

The Sixers were expected to be at least a playoff team this

year. Instead, it was a miserable season filled with injuries and

inconsistencies. Philadelphia was the Eastern Conference’s No. 6

seed a year ago, eliminated in the first round by the Magic in six

games.

The Sixers started this season with a loss in Orlando. The Magic

made sure it ended the same way.

NOTES: Carter took the microphone before the game and thanked

fans for their support this season on behalf of the team. “It’s

been a wonderful season,” Carter said. “We’ve got 16 more to

go.” … Howard announced earlier Wednesday that he has started a

fund for at-risk children around the world, beginning with a

$100,000 donation for young earthquake victims in Haiti. The Dwight

Howard Fund was helped formed with teammate Adonal Foyle.