Orlando Magic Beat Best Team in NBA
The title is almost as inexplicable as the finale to another nail-biter at Amway Center, as the Orlando Magic somehow found a way to knock off the Indiana Pacers 93-92. After trailing by 17 points in the 3rd period, Orlando came back with a 34-10 flurry of a run. As they clung to a late lead, the Magic were their own worst enemy late with inbound issues, missed free throws, and controversial foul calls. In the end, Paul George missed a jumper with a few seconds in the game and Orlando prevailed by one point.
Despite having his shot blocked 5 times, Orlando doesn’t come out victorious without Victor Oladipo. The rookie had 13 points in the fourth quarter and the Hoosier concluded his phenomenal outing with 23 points. Nikola Vucevic had 19 points and 13 rebounds as he held counterpart Roy Hibbert to just 6 points.
Paul George led all scorers with 27 points, while Lance Stephenson had 16 points and 9 rebounds.
It’s the first time since January 2012 that Orlando has won 5 consecutive regular season games at home. Following Orlando’s win against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday, it’s the first time an NBA team has beaten the top team in the West and East on consecutive nights since the Magic beat the Spurs and Celtics in December 2010.
- Jameer Nelson got to celebrate his 32nd birthday with a victory on Sunday. Nelson didn’t play in Indiana in the Magic’s 98-79 February 3rd loss to the Pacers. Jameer finished with 8 points, all came in the first period.
- Speaking of injured guards, Lance Stephenson returned to the Pacers lineup after missing a few games due to a back injury.
- Despite Orlando going on a 15-4 run, Paul George and the Pacers led 31-28 after one quarter. George had twelve in the quarter. Indy shot 60.9 FG%.
- Orlando trailed 52-43 at the break, with Lance Stephenson leading all scorers with 14 points. Nikola Vucevic was the only Magic man in double figures with 10. His 7th consecutive double digit point game.
- The 3rd period was a reminder as to why the Indiana Pacers are such a great team. Their suffocating defense would not relent on an Orlando squad that couldn’t find easy buckets.
- Somehow Orlando entered the 4th quarter trailing 74-64. The Pacers lead had reached seventeen. The Magic shooting percentage was down to 37.1 FG%.
- Following big buckets from Victor Oladipo and Maurice Harkless, the ‘Young Guns’ made it 77-74 at the 9:30 mark. A 20-6 run spurred out of nothing almost.
- Another Victor Oladipo jumper and the Magic had a momentary 78-77 lead at the 7:35 mark. A few more Oladipo buckets, a Vucevic block, and a Tobias And-1, and Orlando had burst out to an 86-79 advantage. A 22-5 run in the quarter midway through the final period.
- It was 88-81 with the Magic craziness peaking at an outrageous 34-10 run. They were down 17 POINTS in the 3rd period to the best team in the NBA!!!
- In an intriguing decision, Glen Davis and Jameer Nelson checked back into the contest at the 2:57 mark of the fourth period as Orlando was holding onto an 88-83 lead. Moe Harkless and Tobias Harris had been integral pieces to the comeback and lead and pulling them at crunch time seemed questionable. In the end, the energy and size that Davis brought to the floor helped to secure the final win.
- Paul George hit a 3-pointer with 40 seconds left to cut the Magic lead to 2. Then a very questionable offensive foul was called on Victor Oladipo as Lance Stephenson showed off his theatrical skills for official Violet Palmer to rule in the Pacers’ favor. Pacers had the ball, down 2 with 37.7 seconds remaining.
- From there it came down to free throws, a jump ball, loose balls, and three Magic players defending Paul George’s final attempt to steal a win for Indiana. Oh happy day.
mBo Crown Royal #ReignOn Tweet of the Night
“What if I told you that the second-worst team in the league ended up going to the NBA Finals… 30 for 30.” -Glen Davis, laughing.
— Orlando Magic Stuff (@ORLMagicStuff) February 10, 2014
The 16-37 Orlando Magic get a few days off before hosting the Memphis Grizzlies Wednesday night, in what will be the Magic’s final game before the All-Star Break.
Adam Papageorgiou runs Orlando Magic Greek and is a proud MBO contributor.