Orlando Magic shut down Lob City to defeat Clippers 98-90
In the first 24 minutes, the Magic shot 55.3% from the field to the Clippers’ 35.6%, made three three-pointers to the Clippers’ zero and had six turnovers to the Clippers’ 10. All of that helped the Magic build a 57-42 lead at the break.
The Magic quickly extended that lead on a Nikola Vucevic putback and a Jason Maxiel turnaround jumper (yes!). However, that’s when the fun stopped. The Magic got sloppy with the ball while the Clippers cleaned up what was a very sloppy first half. The Clippers went on an inevitable 29-5 run in the thirdand ended the quarter with a 74-72 lead.
In the final period, the Magic quickly erased a 79-74 deficit and took a three-point lead on an E’Twaun Moore trey with 6:42 to play. The Magic were able to hold off the Clippers on a couple of big baskets by Vucevic (both coming on excellent feeds from Jameer Nelson). Arron Afflalo converted a tough turnaround jumper with 1:47 remaining that put the Magic ahead for good at 90-89.
- Throughout the night the Magic dared Blake Griffin and company to take jumpers from the elbow, giving them multiple looks there. Their plan was obviously to make sure their interior defense was stout and it certainly was – in the first half.
- Vucevic continues to impress in his second season with the Magic. The double-double machine had another double-double, going for an insane 30 points and 21 rebounds, including knocking down late clutch free throws (a rarity for Magic big men in the past…). They also clearly trust Vucevic down the stretch and with good reason. He continued to deliver as the Magic continued to go to him in the last few minutes.
- Vucevic’s 30 points tied his career high.
- Rookie Victor Oladipo keeps doing the little things and appears to be a bit better with the ball than most initially thought. Turnovers are still a big issue (he had four), but that’s normal for a rookie. Oladipo had 11 points on four-of-six shooting. When he is on the floor, good things happen.
- E’Twaun Moore shot the ball very well, hitting two big three’s, including the shot that gave the Magic an 83-80 lead. He had 12 points on five-of-eight shooting. After a shaky start to the pre-season that had some questioning if he would even make the opening night roster, Moore has been solid off the bench and played critical minutes through the first five games of the season. Moore had a game high +/- of +21 in 27 minutes.
- The Magic bigs did a nice job of fighting the wings on cuts to the basket. They were able to spring Oladipo a couple of times for some easy buckets.
- J.J. Redick had 17 points but missed a wide open three point attempt in the final minute that would have tied the game at 93. That was a very sweet gesture of him… Thanks!
- Jacque Vaughn praised the Magic’s ability to keep the Clippers out of transition. The Clippers had 15 fast break points (seven-of-13).
Arron Afflalo’s go ahead basket: