Orlando Overcomes Past Failings in Overtime
I bet Magic fans never thought they could be so excited to obtain their 20th victory just one week away from the season concluding. That’s what happens when you have sophomores Tobias Harris and Nikola Vucevic going berserk on a pointless game in April. ‘T12’ tallied a career-high tying 30 points and new best 19 rebounds. ‘Vooch’ set a career-best 30 points and snagged 20 rebounds to go with 5 assists. No Magic player in history (including Shaq and Dwight) has ever done that. Crazier fact? The last time two teammates each contributed 30 points and 19 rebounds in a single game was on March 15, 1967 when Walt Bellamy and Willis Reed did it for the Knicks at the Baltimore Bullets. Amazing. This happened when Milwaukee’s John Henson posted 17 points, 25 rebounds, and 7 blocks which is a stat line not seen since Shaq did it in 2004.
Oh yeah, and the Magic won 113-103 in overtime on an evening that included Doron Lamb drilling 4-of-6 from downtown and doubling his previous career-high which now sits at 16 points. Lamb finally showed some of that Kentucky sharpshooter form. We can’t neglect Beno Udrih’s 13 points and 11 assists either as the three former Bucks players really earned any ‘revenge’ they may have been seeking. The controversial Tobias Harris basket at the end with the result already decided was the cherry on top for Magic fans, and a cause for anger from the Bucks roster and Mike Dunleavy’s swinging elbow. All appears to be well after ‘T12’ apologized. Orlando is now 1-3 this time in overtime guys. It was a contest that had a total of 210 field goal attempts and one that saw Orlando put up a season-high of 68 points in the paint.
Coach Vaughn on Tobias’ game-tying 3-pointer in regulation: “We had a middle pick-and-roll with 2 options off of it and he ended up getting the ball. They had fouled before and they were trying to foul again it seems like it. Marquis reached in and Tobias followed through on his shot…”
The tiny 17,127 announced Amway Center crowd that was present Wednesday evening was able to erupt and create a very emotional atmosphere via standing ovation during JJ Redick’s timeout video tribute at the 6:46 mark of the first period with Orlando leading 13-5. Little did they know what events would later occur and that Redick would be put on the backburner. After the initial twelve minutes, Orlando led 30-16 with Tobias and Vucevic pouring in ten points each. Holding the Bucks to twenty-five percent shooting doesn’t hurt. Brandon Jennings suffered a sore left achilles tendon and didn’t return after playing the first 6:13 of the game.
Milwaukee began the second period on a 9-0 run due to Mike Dunleavy torching from the outside. Orlando led 48-45 at the break as Monta Ellis decided to count his 0-for-6 start with three straight makes to end the half. Vucevic had 14 points and 9 boards entering the locker room. John Henson played the entire second period, with no Ilyasova available and Larry Sanders being bothered by a first period fall onto his back, and gobbled up a ridiculous 12 rebounds.
Coach Vaughn on Doron Lamb: “It’s just the timing of the game. I had a question this morning about Doron’s progress and he’s been working extremely hard with the coaches, just learning our system, and boy was he good tonight.”
‘Redickulous’ drilled a 3-pointer to put Milwaukee up 73-72 with 9:57 to go in regulation. We had a seesaw battle from there. Udrih made a tough driving bucket with 3:48 remaining to tie the affair up at 82-82 as Orlando was hanging tough before some unfavorable whistles allowed Milwaukee to create separation behind some timely Monta Ellis and Marquis Daniels baskets. It looked like it was game over UNTIL Tobias Harris got fouled by Marquis Daniels and drained a game-tying 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds left. That’s the most exciting late game play to have occurred all season at home. So ‘T12’ missed the free throw, at least Orlando forced the game to overtime.
Coach Vaughn on Tobias after missing the game-winning free throw in regulation: “I told him that they earned the right to get to overtime and don’t waste the opportunity…at the end of the 4th that was the start of us really not having mistakes down the stretch, getting good looks on the offensive end, and that got us a chance to get to overtime and then we really focused from the tip…”
Maybe Tobias missed the 4-point play free throw on purpose so Vucevic could secure his fourth 20-20 game of the season. Maybe it was so Harris could add to his beastly 9th double-double in a Magic uniform. Maybe it was so Doron Lamb could steal the spotlight. WAIT WHAT?! I’m calling this the best Magic home win of the season. Maurice Harkless played 51 minutes. Great thing for him that Orlando doesn’t host Boston until Saturday.
Adam Papageorgiou runs Orlando Magic Greek and is a proud MBO contributor.