Deja Vu – Orlando Magic Repeat Poor Performance
The Orlando Magic fell to the Sacramento Kings 91-82 on Friday night. The west coast road trip now stands at 2-2. Its hard to get a handle on this game. The Magic shot only 38% from the floor and 27% from beyond the arc. They were out-rebounded by 11 boards. Orlando had no answer for DeMarcus Cousins and Isiah Thomas, who combined for 34 points and 19 rebounds. The Magic once again had to overcome a slow start, down by 12 at halftime.
For entertainment purposes, lets just skip the entire first half for this recap. Trust me, you didn’t miss anything. Down by 12 at the half, Orlando came out with much better energy and ball movement. They took advantage of Tyreke Evans sitting this game out due to a bruised left knee and went on a 16-0 run to tie the score at 54 with 5:38 remaining in the 3rd quarter. The Magic were able to make this run, and even extend it to a 5 point lead, in spite of J.J. Redick having a dismal shooting night. Orlando seemed poised to close this game out as they have twice before on this road trip, but then came the 4th quarter.
Outside of the 16-0 run for the Magic, they’ve been pretty bad tonight. Can’t play only 1 of 4 quarters well and hope to win.
— MagicBBallOnline (@MagicBasketball) December 8, 2012
Ok, enough negative stats, there were some positives that came out of this game. The play of Glen Davis was spectacular tonight. Big Baby was all over the floor, all over the boards, and all over the Magic stat sheet. He finished the night with another double double (20 pts, 11 rebounds), and 5 blocks. Andrew Nicholson was another positive tonight. The only Magic player with a positive +/- rating, scoring 14 off the bench and really playing with energy on the defensive end of the floor helping Davis the majority of the night due to Nikola Vucevic’s foul problems. Jameer Nelson and Arron Afflalo had excellent nights at the guard position, combining for 35 points, 9 assists, and whenever Orlando needed a big shot to stem a Kings run, it was the guards who stepped up.
The Magic were outscored 29-18 in the 4th quarter and it seemed worse than that. Coach Vaughn once again wisely used his timeouts and tried to keep his team close but it wasnt to be. This Magic team has a very slim margin for error. They need to play with high energy for 48 minutes and the shots need to go in, simple as that. Only one of those two things happened tonight. Once again, I like the fight and the ability to come back against an opponent, especially on the road, but the Magic simply aren’t good enough to overcome poor starts and horrendous shooting.
The Magic have a chance to finish the road trip with a winning record Sunday night in Phoenix. Tip off is set for 8pm.
Matt Jensen is new to the MBO team and a proud contributing writer. He operates as MBO’s Sr. Sioux Falls Correspondent. Follow him on Twitter here.