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Orlando Defeats Denver for Much-Needed Home Victory

2016 March 15
by Adam Papageorgiou
Photo: Fernando Medina

Photo: Fernando Medina/Getty Images

The Orlando Magic took care of business on Tuesday night, knocking off the Denver Nuggets 116-110. It appeared that a repeat of other big lead collapses was on the horizon – with Denver cutting an 18-point Magic lead down to 3 early in the fourth period – but Orlando learned from past failures and put away a squad that was on a second game of a back-to-back.

The Magic got a career-tying 30 points out of Evan Fournier. The surprise performance belonged to Jason Smith though. 25 points – 1 shy of his NBA best – on 10-of-15 shooting and 13 rebounds off the bench, both season high totals. In his first Orlando start, Brandon Jennings racked up his first double-double of the season by tallying 12 points and 11 assists. Victor Oladipo notched 23 points and 6 assists. Aaron Gordon finished with 16 points, a large chunk of it coming in the first quarter.

Denver shot 50.0 FG%, but coughed up 54.3 FG% to the home squad. Denver stuck around by winning the interior scoring battle 50-38. Denver had seven players score in double figures. They were led by 18 points from Garry Harris. Will Barton contributed 15 points off Mike Malone’s bench. Despite being short-handed, it’s a victory Orlando needed to grasp onto some faint postseason hope.

Below is the game recap.

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Magic Partner in #RethinkHomelessness Social Media Campaign

2016 March 14

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The Orlando Magic will join partner FanDuel in an awareness campaign with Impact Homelessness and the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness that is meant to raise support for those who struggle with homelessness. FanDuel will donate $1 for every tweet sent out using the Twitter hashtag #RethinkHomelessness during the team’s Tuesday March 15th matchup with the Denver Nuggets at Amway Center.

The campaign will run from 5:00 p.m. EST on March 15th, all the way up until two hours after the game ends (so just before 11:30 p.m. EST if it ends in regulation), and will be promoted on social media and throughout the arena during the game.

The franchise over the past 5 years has donated more than $4 million to homelessness causes in Orlando and the surrounding area.

The Central Florida Commission on Homelessness has been quite a success story recently in the Orlando area under the guidance of Andrae Bailey. Bailey was named the 2015 Central Floridian of the Year.

This campaign appears to be an almost effortless way for Magic fans, and anyone in general, on Twitter during a 6-hour window of time on Tuesday to come through with a good deed for the day. Just use your phone/computer, Twitter, and your fingers. Tweet away. Make FanDuel write out a huge check. #RethinkHomelessness

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO. 

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Portland Pounds Orlando as Magic Conclude Road Trip 1-3

2016 March 13
by Adam Papageorgiou
Photo: Sam Forencich

Photo: Sam Forencich

The Orlando Magic laid down on Saturday night. It was depressing to watch them show zero fight against a Trail Blazers team that shows so much energy to compensate for any lack of depth or talent. Portland annihilated the men in black 121-84. Yes, that’s a 37-point loss.

Portland shot the ball well all evening, finishing at 56.0 FG%. Making 17-of-35 three-pointers doesn’t hurt either. 34 of Portland’s 47 made field goals were assists. They also out-rebounded the Magic 51-39. Nothing went well for O-Town as they shot a weak 37.4 FG%. They just didn’t appear competitive.

Victor Oladipo led the Magic with 18 points. Evan Fournier had 15 points, but only scored 2 of those in the final three periods. Aaron Gordon continues to be one of the Magic’s few bright spots as he had 17 points. Ersan Ilyasova had the worst plus/minus at -33 and played way too many minutes (28) while a guy like Dewayne Dedmon only played fifteen.

No Elfrid Payton hurt. C.J. Watson and Shabazz Napier – the point guard fill-ins – were each 1-of-9 from the field. Nikola Vucevic is the Magic’s best scorer and rebounder. His presence was dearly missed as well. Portland had 6 players in double figures. Damian Lillard tallied 19 points and 10 assists. C.J. McCollum and Allen Crabbe each added 18 points. Portland was just more locked in as the Magic got pummeled. Orlando flies back to East with a 1-3 record on this road trip.

Below is the game recap. 

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Orlando Earns Needed Victory In Sacramento

2016 March 12

agkings

At this point in the grueling NBA season, the Orlando Magic must resemble a staggered fighter looking stunned in the ring. They entered SleepTrain Arena in Sacramento having lost three straight games. They folded in the second-half against a hapless Lakers team in their most recent effort. But, on Friday night the Magic inflicted the blows against a Kings opponent that entered the contest battered and bruised to begin with. Orlando did just enough to outlast Sacramento by a final score of 107-100, securing a less than beautiful, but much needed, road victory.

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Orlando’s Stumbling Slide Continues, Lose to Kobe-less Lakers

2016 March 9
by Brian Serra

magiclal

After putting forth an encouraging effort on Monday night in Oakland, the Orlando Magic could not muster the same energy in Los Angeles on Tuesday, falling 107 – 98 to the Lakers.  It was the dynamic young Laker backcourt that out-shined the suddenly fading Magic backcourt as D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson combined for 51 points.

For Orlando, the loss all but seals the fate of an already long-shot playoff run. After losing to the woeful Phoenix Suns last Friday, it was another egg laid against the Lakers who hold the second worst record in the league. Since the Calendar Year began, Orlando has lost to each of the three worst teams in the league (Didn’t forget ya Philly!) and have an impressive 8-23 record.

The Lakers were without Kobe Bryant, but it’s hard to make much of his absence considering the lack of impact he has had on the rest of their season. Nik Vucevic missed his second straight game with a sore groin. Victor Oladipo led the Magic with 26 points and Evan Fournier had 23. Jason Smith and C.J. Watson “chipped in” with 10 points each and no other player reached double figures.

“We played like we were tired, like we didn’t want to win,” Fournier said. “On good nights, we’re full of focus on what’s going on on the floor. It’s very frustrating. We should have won.”

I appreciate Fournier’s optimistic viewpoint, at a minimum.

You’d like to blame the absence of Vucevic and coming off a back-to-back, but you just can’t make that excuse anymore. It’s the same energy and effort story every night, for one of the league’s youngest teams. Does that sound strange? It is. It doesn’t add up.

At this point, you want the team to compete and win games of course… but perhaps it would be more beneficial to also root for some losses for the Bucks/Nuggets/Kings/Knicks. Tanking season is back!

Let’s ignore the loss and any reality that may be showing its ugly face, and just revel in another beautiful Aaron Gordon fast break dunk.

Orlando has two remaining games on the Best Coast road trip and is back in action Friday night against the Sacramento Kings before playing the following night in Portland.

 

Brian Serra is the Sr. Editor Emeritus of Magic Basketball Online and is enjoying being most retired from writing. You can follow him on Twitter.

Magic Visit Oracle; See Warriors Historic Victory

2016 March 8
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

A perfect storm conspired against the Magic on Monday night.

For starters, Orlando had to travel across three time zones to begin a four-game road trip without their starting center and leading scorer. They also had to play against perhaps the greatest basketball team ever assembled, that was coming off an unexpected defeat the day before, and that had the opportunity to redeem themselves by setting an NBA record with a 45th consecutive home victory.

Despite all of those factors conspiring against them, Orlando nearly pulled of a miraculous comeback. On this night however, the Magic simply could not stand in the way of history and fell by a final score of 119-113.

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Dedmon Tallies 17 Points & 22 Rebounds in Only Game with Erie

2016 March 6
by Adam Papageorgiou
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Erie BayHawks – NBADL affiliate of your Orlando Magic – have now lost 11 consecutive games after falling 98-94 to the Westchester Knicks on Saturday night. Erie is now officially eliminated from playoff contention.

Magic fans will be happy to know though that Dewayne Dedmon had a pretty great game as he tallied 17 points, 22 rebounds, and 3 blocks in 34 minutes of work. He shot 7-of-13 from the floor, including drilling a few jump shots that are impressive by Dedmon standards. He also grabbed 9 offensive rebounds, which was more than the entire Westchester squad could snag.

 

As reported by Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel, this will be the 26-year-old’s only contest in a BayHawks jersey. The 7-foot center will be re-joining the Magic in California as Orlando takes on the dominant Golden State Warriors on Monday.

 

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO. 

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Victor Oladipo Named 2015-2016 Magic Community Enrichment Award Winner

2016 March 6

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Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo on Saturday was named the 2015-2016 Rich & Helen DeVos Community Enrichment Award recipient at the 26th Annual Orlando Magic Youth Foundation (OMYF) Black Tie & Tennies Gala that was held at the Amway Center. The other finalist for the award was point guard Elfrid Payton.

Each year at the Gala, the OMYF honors a player who has dedicated his efforts off the court for the purpose of enhancing other lives. A panel selects the player. Oladipo will be granted $50,000 from the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation to donate to the charity of his choice. It’s the second time Oladipo has won the award.

Past winners include Nick Anderson (1995-1996), Anfernee Hardaway (1996-1997), Darrell Armstrong (1997-1998, 1999-2000), Grant Hill (2000-2001), Monty Williams (2001-2002), Tracy McGrady (2002-2003), Pat Garrity (2003-2004), Bo Outlaw (1998-1999, 2005-2006, 2006-2007), Dwight Howard (’04-’05, ’07-’08, ’08-’09, ’09-’10, ’10-’11, ’11-’12), J.J. Redick (’11-’12), Jameer Nelson (’12-’13), Tobias Harris (’13-1’4; ’14-’15, co-winner with Oladipo) and Victor Oladipo (’14-15, co-winner with Harris; 2015-16).

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Orlando Assigns Dewayne Dedmon to Erie BayHawks

2016 March 5
by Adam Papageorgiou
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Orlando Magic on Saturday announced that they have assigned Dewayne Dedmon to the Erie BayHawks, the team’s NBADL affiliate. It’s a bit of a surprise move considering the 26-year-old hasn’t made a D-League appearance since the 7-foot center was a member of the Santa Cruz Warriors in the 2013-2014 season.

Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reports that Dedmon will only play 1 contest for Erie – a home game in Pennsylvania tonight (Saturday) against the Westchester Knicks – before rejoining the Magic for the start of their 4-game Western Conference road trip that begins Monday against the Golden State Warriors.

 

 

So in exchange for a night of extended playing time, Dewayne will miss the franchise’s annual Black Tie & Tennies Gala. It’s an opportunity for Dedmon to put up numbers considering he’ll be a free agent come this summer.

In 3 seasons with Orlando, Dedmon has played in 113 games including 25 starts. Other than raising his free throw percentage from 53.1 FT% last year to 74.4 FT% in the ’15-’16 campaign, Dewayne’s season has been an overall disappointment as Nikola Vucevic and Jason Smith have dominated the minutes at the center spot.

Scott Skiles has played Dedmon in 37 games (4 starts) this season as he’s averaged 3.4 ppg and 3.1 rpg on 51.6 FG% at around 10 minutes per contest. All of those numbers are decreases from when James Borrego and Jacque Vaughn were coaching this squad.

The BayHawks own by far the worst record in the D-League, at 11-27. Coach Bill Peterson’s squad is currently on a 10-game losing streak.

 

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO. 

***Join Magic Basketball Online on Facebook and our post-only Twitter profile***

Nikola Vucevic After Loss to Phoenix: “This One Is On Me”

2016 March 4

voochpho

The Orlando Magic lost to a Phoenix Suns squad that had not won a road game since December 7th. Almost 3 entire months. One Magic guy shouldn’t take the blame for this as Nikola Vucevic tried to do. He wasn’t the only person defending Alex Len. I commend Vooch for stepping in as one of the team’s leaders, but the entire squad should be ashamed at that awful showing.

Nikola Vucevic:

 

Elfrid Payton:

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