Orlando One Quarter Short in Portland
The Orlando Magic fell to the Portland Trailblazers 110-94 Wednesday night in Portland. It was a very gutsy performance, especially coming back from Monday nights debacle. This effort tonight gives Orlando hope of salvaging a win or two on this west coast trip. The final score was not indicative of how well the Magic played tonight, and the effort they put forth.
While he didn’t lead the team in scoring or rebounding, Victor Oladipo was everywhere tonight. The guy is a freak, and I believe we’re only scratching the surface of what he can do in this league. Arron Afflalo led the Magic with 22 points. Jameer Nelson put up a double double for the 2nd time this year. Even Glen Davis, after another shaky start, played well showing hustle and determination against a much bigger Portland front line. Oladipo finished with 14 points in almost 39 minutes.
The Magic were without the services of Nik Vucevic tonight, due to the concussion suffered Monday night in Los Angeles, so Coach Vaughn was forced to start a small lineup tonight with Big Baby at center. Tobias Harris had the daunting job of guarding LaMarcus Aldridge, who put up 36 on him. Tobias made him work for his shots, but Aldridge is just so talented and has plenty in his repertoire to throw at a smaller defender. Nicholas Batum was excellent as always tonight putting up a triple double.
Orlando took a 51-45 lead into the locker room at half. Everyone in the Magic twitter family was bracing for the 3rd quarter collapse, but tonight it didn’t happen. Portland made a couple runs, but Orlando held ground with a 4 point lead heading into the final frame. Then Portland woke up.
For all of you old CBA junkies, Portland earned all the quarter points in that 4th stanza, outscoring the Magic 39-19. It wasn’t for lack of effort though, the Trailblazers just made tough shots. I was very impressed with Orlando tonight. Jameer seemed back to his old self, running the offense, making that extra pass. I always look at the assist to turnovers stat when I’m breaking down a game, and tonight it was 21-10. If Orlando can play with this effort, they will have a chance to win
most more games. Tonight, Portland was just the better team.
The west coast roadie continues on Friday night in Sacramento against the Kings. I predict the Magic win that one. You heard it here first.
Matt Jensen is new to the MBO team and a proud contributing writer. He operates as MBO’s Sr. Sioux Falls Correspondent. Follow him on Twitter here