Magic Lose 9th Straight in Triple OT Thriller
The Orlando Magic led held a rare 15-point second half lead Wednesday night, but like all good things – they disappear into nothing. Orlando gave up their big lead in the 4th quarter to a feisty Chicago Bulls team before a Jameer Nelson step-back fade-away forced overtime (see above GIF). And then things got crazy…and ridiculous. Eventually Orlando lost 128-125 in triple overtime. It was a game that had 14 ties and 20 lead changes. The Magic have now dropped 9 consecutive contests.
Orlando was led on the night by a career-high 35 points from Victor Oladipo and a season-high 31 points from Jameer Nelson. However, both combined to make only 2 of their final 15 shots from the field. The Magic backcourt drove to the basket seemingly at will against a very strong Chicago Bulls defense with Oladipo putting together his best all-around performance of his rookie season. Oladipo is also the first rookie in Magic history to post 35+ points and 8+ assists in contest. Tobias Harris finished with a beastly 22 points and 16 rebounds. Even Glen Davis managed a weird 17 points and 9 boards.
The Bulls were 1-of-12 from 3-point range in the 1st half, but went the rest of the game 11-of-21 from deep. Joakim Noah led Chicago with 26 points and 19 rebounds. This is the type of game that the Magic have typically lost throughout the last year and a half, and the Magic were able to appease the ‘tank’ supporters by snatching defeat from the hands of victory.
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How’d we get to overtime #1? DJ Augustin drilled a 3-pointer to put Chicago up 101-97 with 1:07 remaining in the contest. A Tobias tip-in and a Magic stop later found Orlando with the ball down just two points with 17.5 seconds left and Jacque Vaughn drawing a play out of a timeout. Jameer shooting an isolation fadeaway jumper over Noah may not have been ideal, but he drilled it. Tie game at 101-101, but Chicago had 11.2 seconds to work with. A bit of jump ball craziness later, and we had overtime.
How did overtime #2 come about? Orlando took a 108-106 lead at the 3-minute mark in overtime after Big Baby completed a ridiculous bounce pass on his knees to Tobias. A Big Baby jumper, plus one Harris free throw later, and Orlando was up 3 with 1:20 remaining in the extra session. From there neither team could score until Mike Dunleavy drilled a wide open 3-pointer to make it 111-111 with 13.4 second remaining. Jameer would drill a 3-pointer…but it came 1-second too late as he inexplicably forgot that a requirement to score, is to shoot the ball. To that 2nd overtime we went.
Glen Davis, yes, Big Baby, hit a lengthy 3-pointer to tie the game at 119-119 with 4.2 seconds left in double overtime in what can only be described as baffling beyond belief. It was already an absurd contest that was epic in numerous proportions. So off to triple overtime we went where the Bulls were able to execute just enough to pull it out. The game lasted 3 hours and 9 minutes, which was only fifteen minutes shy of the franchise record.
- It was far from dramatic early on. Somewhere between Big Baby missing 20-foot jumpers, the Magic Dancers doing ‘bubble butt’ impressions, Noah rebounding everything, and Kirk Hinrich being left 10 yards open, I realized there was a basketball game inside Amway Center (you couldn’t tell by the dead silence).
- Ronnie Price got his first game action since January 4th as he missed the West road trip due to a sinus infection. He went scoreless in 12 minutes.
- A Kyle O’Quinn four-point spurt tied the contest at 26-26 as the Magic showed signs of life, before Glen Davis checked back and ruined the great Kyle-Andrew frontcourt chemistry. O’Quinn finished with an efficient 12 points and 7 boards. ‘Drew finished with just 2 points in 12 minutes.
- Orlando led 49-46 at the break thanks to Jameer and Victor combining for 29 of those forty-nine. Picking up the slack with no Afflalo. Bulls shot a putrid 1-of-12 from 3-point range.
- Somewhere between O’Quinn going coast-to-coast for a lay-up and Oladipo showing the fans his airplane wings after a lay-up, I started believing Orlando might break this 8-game skid. Silly me.
mBo Crown Royal #ReignOn Fan Tweet of the Game
@adamosgp What’s the consensus on Big Baby having the worst reflexes in the league…ever?
— Gilbert Miller (@Gilberator) January 16, 2014
Orlando is now 10-29 on the year. They are back in action on Friday night at home against the Charlotte Bobcats for another throwback jersey night and the honoring of Horace Grant. Get your goggles ready.
Adam Papageorgiou runs Orlando Magic Greek and is a proud MBO contributor.