Orlando Magic Come Up Short in New Orleans
The Orlando Magic fell to the New Orleans Pelicans Sunday night by a score of 100-92. The game was not as close as the score indicated as New Orleans was in control from the beginning. The Magic were able to get within four points countless times it seemed, but could not come up with any critical stops when needed.
Orlando was led in scoring by Arron Afflalo with 25 points, while Victor Oladipo had 18 points and five steals. The Pelicans had a monster night from Anthony Davis , who poured in 22 points and 19 rebounds. Tyreke Evans was key off the bench for them with a 23/7/7 night, while Orlando’s bench was virtually invisible scoring just a collective eight points.
The game started pretty well for the Magic, who were attacking the paint and playing with energy. The smaller lineup that Jacque Vaughn has been forced to use seemed to present some problems , but as the first quarter ended so did Orlando’s aggressiveness. It is a common theme this year that when the Magic settle for jump shots early in the shot clock, things go poorly. Factor in a dismal rebounding performance and things can get out of hand quickly.
Orlando was outrebounded 48-32 tonight. Glen Davis had a poor night on both ends of the court. With Nik Vucevic out, Davis is being forced to play out of position, but tonight he just didn’t contribute.
The second half started with Orlando down 10 and that held true throughout the 3rd quarter. Turnovers proved costly for Orlando throughout the 3rd and they couldn’t put together a solid stretch of basketball during the entire second half. Every time the Magic would go on a run to trim the lead, they would follow that up with a turnover filled stretch to let the Pelicans regain or extend their lead.
There’s not much more to say about tonight’s game that hasn’t been written in game recaps all season. Orlando didn’t quit, they played hard on the road, just not good enough to win. You could question Coach Vaughn’s decision to play Glen Davis in crunch time once again, but it seems until the trade deadline, that is what he’s going to do. It’s fashionable to second guess Coach, but tonight it didn’t matter. No matter who was in there, New Orleans had more talent.
The road trip continues on Tuesday night in Detroit against the Pistons.
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