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The Orlando Magic on Thanksgiving

Today we are looking back at the history of the Orlando Magic on Thanksgiving, remembering back to two Holiday games.

Thanksgiving And The NBA

For some of our non-American followers who may not know, the Thanksgiving holiday in the USA is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. 

Typically, until some 12 years ago the NBA would play games on the holiday. This was ultimately changed for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, all 30 teams have the night off, a chance for all to rest up, spend time with loved ones and to be thankful. 

The second is that Thanksgiving has long had an American tradition of NFL games. The day is jam packed with four football games again in 2023.

The Orlando Magic on Thanksgiving

Join us as we take a look back at how our Orlando Magic have fared when playing on this US National holiday.

At Washington 2008

The first time that Orlando played on thanksgiving was in November 2008. In this year the schedule had Orlando facing Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler and the Washington Wizards at Verizon Center. 

Luckily for the Magic the starters were on form, with four of the five scoring over 17 points. That production helped the Magic rout Washington by a count of 105-90, improving to 12-4 on the season. For the Wizards it saw them drop to 2-11.

Dwight Howard paced the Magic with 26 points and 14 rebounds. He was supported well by Hedo Turkoglu with 20, whilst Rashard Lewis and Mickael Pietrus both scored 17 points. 

At The Atlanta Hawks 2009

Orlando last featured on Thanksgiving in 2009. This fixture was coming on the heels of the success of the 2008-09 season. Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu had taken the Magic to the NBA Finals for what was the second time in franchise history. 

We were scheduled to face the Atlanta Hawks on the road, taking on good opposition in Joe Johnson, Josh Smith and Mike Bibby on the 26th November. 

The Magic started Jason Williams, Mickael Pietrus, Vince Carter, Rashard Lewis and Dwight Howard. The team came through victorious by a score of 93-76, with Howard (22 points) and Carter (adding a further 21) leading the team. The bench unit was led by Anthony Johnson, who scored 17 points against his former ball club! 

Carving The Turkey!

Who can forget the likes of Dwight Howard and Glenn “Big Baby” Davis carving the turkey with Dante Marchitelli and Paul Kennedy over the years. These were done on dates the Magic played near Thanksgiving. But not actually on Thanksgiving given the Magic were on the road on the actual holiday. 

As a basketball fan it is a shame we don’t have the NBA on our screens this Thanksgiving. However, the NBA focus on other holidays which fall later in the season. Whilst Orlando do not feature the NBA has 5 games on deck for Christmas Day. There are 11 penciled in for Martin Luther King Jr Day on the 15th January. The schedule for MLK Day includes a visit by the Magic to the Knicks at Madison Square Garden! 

From us here at Let’s Talk Magic, being Gary, Geraint, Mikey and Paul we wish you all a happy Thanksgiving!

Here is the YouTube link to Geraint looking at the Orlando Magic on Thanksgiving and this little piece of Magic history.

Go Magic!