Orlando Magic overcome 19-point deficit, yet still lose to Hawks
After trailing by as many as 19 points late in the 3rd quarter, the Orlando Magic fought back valiantly against the Atlanta Hawks, before falling late 112-109. On the bad end of a back-to-back, and arriving back from Brooklyn at 3am Wednesday morning, the Magic came out flat for the first 32 minutes of tonight’s game before making the matchup entertaining.
A second unit sparked by three Magic sophomores and a freshman -Doron Lamb, Moe Harkless, Kyle O’Quinn and Victor Oladipo- caught fire. With 3:38 remaining in the 3rd quarter and Orlando trailing 84-66, the Magic went on a 27-8 run to take their first game of the lead midway through the 4th quarter. The Magic looked as if they would escape with a rare victory, until a late collapse in the final minute gave the win to the Hawks.
The Magic were led on the night by a fantastic overall game from Victor Oladipo who scored 24 points, grabbed 7 rebounds and dished 7 assists. Oladipo also played scrappy defense and without his efforts, the lead would have pushed over 20 and likely remained there.
Tobias Harris scored 19 points and grabbed 12 rebounds and Jameer Nelson had 17 points and 7 assists. Unfortunately for Jameer, with the Magic leading by 1 with less than 3o seconds remaining Nelson was unable to make a play to close out the game, making an ill-advised pass to Glen Davis who missed the standard spin-move fade-away shot that Davis loves.
After Pero Antic made the final two of his four free throws to put Atlanta up 3, a poorly designed (or executed) Jacque Vaughn final play had Jameer missing a contest three-point attempt at the buzzer. Brick. Another loss.
mBo Crown Royal #ReignOn Fan Tweet of the Night
Jameer passes Dwight for second most career games in a Magic uniform. #salute
— mister25eight (@mister25eight) January 23, 2014
Despite the loss, it was a very encouraging effort from the bench. Players that have showed little promise through most of the season, showed for at least one night, that they belong. Lamb/Harkless/OQuinn all showed they deserve continued playing time for the remaining 40 games of the year.
The Magic have one day off after their back-to-back before facing the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night at the Amway Center. Tip is set for 7pm EST.