Monta Madness Mounts Magic on Milwaukee’s Fireplace
The Magic scored 28 points in Sunday’s fourth quarter in Milwaukee. It’s too bad the Bucks had a whopping FORTY-FIVE! 25 of those belonged to Monta Ellis who finished with a season-high 39 points as the Bucks completed an unbelievable 115-109 comeback. I’m flabbergasted at what I just saw. Orlando pummeled Milwaukee with a season-best 62 points in the paint and still snatched defeat out of the hands of victory. The Magic were in control most of the afternoon and couldn’t close. Tobias Harris, just like in Miami a week and a half ago, fouled out with 2:43 to go on a questionable offensive foul call as momentum swung. Maurice Harkless’ career-high 23 points were wasted, as were Vucevic’s 20 points and 15 rebounds.
The chemistry between Vucevic and Harkless was quite impressive in the first half, and Maurice will always benefit by attacking the rack. Fueled by Afflalo’s 10 points, Orlando owned an early 25-18 advantage after one period of play. Some of Arron’s points came with the slightly shorter JJ Redick defending him. Arron still can’t knock down anything when left wide open though. The Magic were the more spry bunch with the noon local time tip-off, supported by Milwaukee’s appalling 25.9 FG%.
Just like in OKC, we got to see Jacque roll with a Vucevic-O’Quinn frontcourt that was quite effective in protecting the paint and glass. They played a large factor in Orlando posting 36 points in the paint in the first half. Kyle is taking advantage of Coach Vaughn stranding Nicholson on the bench. I’m certain the Bucks roster was hungover, because that playoff team did not appear to want to be playing Sunday St. Patty’s Day afternoon basketball. Harkless had 19 points and 14 rebounds the last time Orlando was in Milwaukee on February 2nd. At halftime today, Maurice already tallied a ridiculous 17 points as the Magic led 54-44 at the break.
The Bucks must have consumed a lot of fluids because they would go on a 7-0 run to open the third period. Orlando quickly settled down and snatched back their cushion thanks to Vucevic controlling both ends. Harkless obtained his new points career-high late in the quarter as Orlando entered the last twelve minutes of regulation up 81-70.
Milwaukee continued their 2nd half focus of attacking the paint, and eventually 3-pointers began dropping in the fourth. Specifically for Monta Ellis who went absolutely berserk. 25 fourth period points on a bum leg too. No other NBA player has scored that much in any quarter this season. Redick only scored a total of just 4 points on 1-of-5 shooting. Before fouling out, Tobias posted a solid 14 points and 8 rebounds. Also, Beno Udrih led the bench with 8 points. Though they dressed to play, Ish Smith and Gustavo Ayon did not see the court. The 18-49 Magic are officially out of playoff contention as they continue their road trip in Indiana to take on the Pacers on Tuesday.
Adam Papageorgiou runs Orlando Magic Greek and is a proud MBO contributor.