Magic fire Van Gundy after year of drama

Stan Van Gundy feuded with his star center, Dwight Howard.
Stan Van Gundy feuded with his star center, Dwight Howard.
Posted: May 23, 2012

The Orlando Magic fired head coach Stan Van Gundy and split with general manager Otis Smith on Monday, the culmination of a season in which Orlando was ensnared in a long-running soap opera with Dwight Howard and made another first-round playoff exit.

"It's time for new leadership and new voices," Magic CEO Alex Martins said in a statement.

Smith and Van Gundy's problematic relationship with Howard weighed down the team all season after the all-star center requested a trade.

Orlando went 37-29 in the regular season but was eliminated in five games by Indiana after a rash of late-season injuries that included back surgery for Howard. Orlando went 5-12 without him.

Heat, Pacers eye Game 5

The Miami Heat were still marveling Monday at LeBron James' effort the previous day in Indiana, when the NBA's reigning MVP had 40 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists - "video game-like," was how Wade described it - to help his team knot its East series with the Pacers at two games apiece.

Game 5 is Tuesday night in Miami. The home-court advantage is back with the Heat, who trailed by 10 points in the third quarter Sunday.

Clippers take stock

A day after San Antonio swept his team out of the playoffs, Clippers general manager Neil Olshey declined to comment on the status of head coach Vinny Del Negro.

"That's not what we're here to talk about," said Olshey. "...I think Vinny did a great job, and that's as far as I'm going to go today."

The team has an option on Del Negro's contract for next season and needs to make a decision by June 1.

The Clippers finished with their most wins (40) since 2006-07 and the best winning percentage (.606) in franchise history.

But, the season ended with a 102-99 loss on Sunday against the visiting Spurs. The franchise has still not won a second-round series.

- Inquirer Wire Services

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