Magic Season-High 12 Triples Annihilate Indy
The now 14-24 Magic hoisted a franchise-worst 5 free throw attempts Wednesday evening. Don’t let that ounce of failure negate the fact that Orlando dismantled Indiana from the perimeter on their way to a 97-86 victory. 12-of-21 3-pointers would offset whatever paint weaknesses were evident. Orlando punched a great Indy team in the face with open jumpers and their 7-foot Montenegrin giant making mince meat of Roy Hibbert. Nik Vucevic finished with 16 points, 15 rebounds, and his first career technical foul. 29 of Orlando’s forty field goals were assisted as solid ball movement made a pleasant return to this roster.
Indiana Head Coach Frank Vogel on Vucevic: “He’s having a great season. Obviously when you have a 5-man that can space the floor like he does with his shooting is a big-time asset…defensive rebounding, scoring in the post as well.”
After logging 18 minutes off the bench in D.C., Glen Davis was back to his customary starting power forward gig. Jacque Vaughn’s roster is 13-13 when Big Baby is inserted into the starting lineup. Remember how Tyler Hansbrough was a major pain in the rear back in May? Well after poking Jameer and Nicholson in the eye, Glen Davis would return the favor with a clean elbow in the 4th quarter.
Before tip-off, Jameer Nelson was presented a commemorative trophy from team CEO Alex Martins and General Manager Rob Hennigan for surpassing Scott Skiles and becoming Orlando’s all-time franchise assists leader. Nelson finished with a casual 14 points, 6 assists, and 4 steals. The Magic began the contest flatter than the nonexistent 17,499 Amway Center crowd, but great defense earned Orlando time to finally get their offense rolling. Big Baby’s 9 points in the period bolstered Orlando to a 22-17 first quarter lead.
A 4-of-6 second period 3-point flurry netted Orlando a 16-point halftime cushion. Paul George and Roy Hibbert combined for 23 of Indy’s thirty-five 1st half points as Coach Frank Vogel was desperately searching for offense. Speaking of the 7’2” Hibbert, how badly do you think Stan Van Gundy wished he had Nikola Vucevic to use in last summer’s 4-1 playoff exit? It beats watching Glen Davis get swatted a million times. ‘Vooch’ acquired his casual double-double late in that 2nd period.
The sharpshooting didn’t stop for the white-and-blue as Orlando drilled four consecutive triples in a single stretch to put the home team up 73-53 with three minutes remaining in the 3rd period. Indy awoke somewhat and only trailed by thirteen entering the final 12-minute frame. E’Twaun Moore looks like his normal self again, contributing 9 points from the pine. The only truly notable moments of the 4th period came when Nicholson and Hansbrough, in the span of a minute, were whistled for consecutive double fouls, only to be followed up by double technicals on Vucevic and Hansbrough. Orlando hosts Charlotte on Friday as the Magic are seeking to get back to winning games consistently and a struggling Bobcats squad may be of some assistance.
Adam Papageorgiou runs Orlando Magic Greek and is a proud MBO contributor.