Less than three weeks after surgery to repair a broken bone in his face, Hedo Turkoglu gave the Orlando Magic additional hope as their playoff series against the Indiana Pacers approaches.
Turkoglu returned from injury to play 29-plus minutes in the Magic's regular-season finale, an 88-76 loss to the highly motivated Memphis Grizzlies at FedEx Forum.
He scored 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting as he joined a starting lineup of Chris Duhon, Von Wafer, Earl Clark and Daniel Orton.
"I was feeling good," Turkoglu said. "My legs was there. I was feeling OK. But you can't compare this game to what is coming. The playoffs are totally going to be a different atmosphere."
Thursday's outcome meant nothing to the Magic's playoff positioning, but it was essential for the Grizzlies, who needed a victory to clinch the fourth seed in the Western Conference.
Jameer Nelson, J.J. Redick, Jason Richardson, Ryan Anderson and Quentin Richardson were held out of the game, and Glen Davis sat out because of his right-ankle sprain. Coach Stan Van Gundy didn't want to risk injuries, and he wanted to give those veterans rest.
But Van Gundy desperately wanted to give Turkoglu some minutes.
"I thought Turk shot the ball well, and I thought he played pretty well," Van Gundy said. "He had a couple of bad plays off the trouble. He was playing with guys he really hasn't played much with, either. I thought it was a good night for him."
Van Gundy said he doesn't know whether he will start Turkoglu in Game 1 against the Pacers on Saturday.
Hedo Turkoglu plays well in his return as the Pacers await the Magic in playoffs
Orlando Sentinel | Apr 27