Arron Afflalo’s “Courageous Effort” Propels Magic Past Bucks

Moe Harkless drives, spins and slams against the Milwaukee Bucks

After trailing by as many as 19 points and looking completely dead in the water early, Arron Afflalo and the Orlando Magic wore down the Milwaukee Bucks and eventually took their first lead mid-way through the 4th quarter on an Afflalo three pointer. The Magic were able to hold that lead and come away with a hard fought 94-91 win on their home court.

Arron Afflalo was the hero of the night behind a career high 36 points and a career high eight 3-point makes. He also filled in the stat sheet with eight rebounds, six assists and two steals. After the game, Afflalo was quick to pass on the praise for his performance to the improved play of his teammates. In reality, the Magic had no chance to get back into the game tonight if it wasn’t for Afflalo’s insanely red-hot shooting.

Trailing by 13 points with 30 seconds left in the first half, a Jameer Nelson layup and then a Moe Harkless steal and layup as time expired brought the Magic within nine at halftime. Afflalo would make three 3-pointers within the first three minutes of the second half to bring the Magic permanently back into the game.

Jacque Vaughn made a key defensive adjustment in the second half by choosing to start Ronnie Price over Jason Maxiell, allowing the Magic to keep pace with the small-ball underhanded Bucks squad.  Price’s intensity on the defensive end helped Orlando to allow just 55 points in the final three quarters after allowing 36 points in the first quarter alone. The scrappy backup point guard played 25 minutes on the night and managed to grab a career high seven rebounds.

Milwaukee dressed just 8 players tonight as Zaza Pachulia, Brandon Knight, Luke Ridnour, Ersan Ilyasova, Larry Sanders and Carlos Delfino were all sidelined with various injures.

Nik Vucevic put up 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and Maurice Harkless had 10 points, nine rebounds and three blocks. Harkless played with much more ferocity on both ends of the floor than he has throughout the early part of the season.

O.J. Mayo had 25 points for Milwaukee, while Caron Butler put up 20 and Khris Middleton had 19.

The Magic now hold a 15-game win streak against the Milwaukee Bucks in games played in Orlando. While it looked like that streak was going to be broken through the first 24 minutes of action, Arron Afflalo stepped in and saved the day.

The Magic, now 4-5 on the year, are off until Saturday night when they host the Dallas Mavericks at 7:00.

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