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UCF’s Jermaine Taylor Goes Off On Orlando Magic

It could have happened in any number of NBA cities. But on Wednesday night in Orlando, former UCF sharpshooter Jermaine Taylor turned in his best scoring performance as a pro.

Taylor led Sacramento with a career-high 21 points to help the Kings down the Magic, 111-105, at the Amway Center. Taylor was making his fourth start at shooting guard for the Kings (in place of injured Tyreke Evans) since being acquired in a trade with the Houston Rockets on Dec. 15.

He also finished with five rebounds in the win.

After being chosen with the 32nd pick in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Washington Wizards, the Tavares native was traded to the Rockets where he played in just 31 games as a rookie.

It now appears a window of opportunity has opened for him on the west coast.

Taylor finished the game on Wednesday shooting 9-of-12 from the field. He missed only on a 3-point try, put-back attempt at the rim, and desperation shot at the buzzer.

“I felt like I could do the things I did tonight, but no one has really given me the chance,” Taylor said afterwards. “Now that I’m getting my opportunity I’m going to take advantage of it.”

More on Taylor’s big night -

Postgame interview at NBA.com

Postgame video at Howard The Dunk

Feature story at UCF Athletics

Postgame recap at IC Places

– How Jermaine Taylor scored those 21 points –

– Taylor got things going immediately following the opening tip. He scored the first two points of the night when he rose up along the baseline past Jason Richardson and dunked home an alley-oop pass from DeMarcus Cousins.

– Near the 10-minure mark in the first, Taylor took a pass from Jason Thompson and drove past both Richardson and Dwight Howard on his way to converting on a layup.

– He then caught an inbound pass at the foul line with under nine minutes remaining and proceeded to drive past Richardson before banking in a jumper overtop of Jameer Nelson.

– Taylor then found enough room under the basket near the five-minute mark to be in position for an easy tip-in on a miss by Beno Udrih.

– His only 3-pointer on the night came with 1:48 left in the first quarter. That’s when Taylor got open near the corner of the arc and nailed the long shot before Ryan Anderson could extend his arms to contest.

– Taylor closed out the second quarter by scooping up a loose ball from beneath the basket and laying in a quick shot just before the buzzer sounded.

– With close to eight minutes left in the third quarter, Taylor dribbled past Richardson and Howard while tight-roping the baseline, then launched himself from behind the backboard to send in a reverse layup. It was a soft bounce off the glass that he got to fall while Nelson was planted in the paint hoping to pick up a charge.

– The ball found its way into Taylor’s hands once with 2:51 to play in the third on a fastbreak for the Kings. With J.J. Redick between him and the basket, Taylor sidestepped the defender and completed the easy layup while in stride.

– Taylor was sent to the free throw line for the only time on the night with 2:04 to go in the third when Nelson wrapped him up in the paint following another quick effort downcourt by the Kings. Taylor made both attempts.

– His last bucket on the night came on a layup with 36 seconds to play in the third quarter.

– (email JC@OrlandoSportsCentral.com and follow at Facebook or @OrlandoSportsJC ) –

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