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Orlando Ends 2015 with 10-0 Run to Close Out Win Over Nets

2015 December 30
by Adam Papageorgiou
Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

It’s quite difficult to describe how bad the Orlando Magic played on Wednesday night, but they still found a way to defeat a terrible Brooklyn Nets squad. Brook Lopez hit a baseline bucket with 1:43 to go in the contest to put the visiting Nets ahead 93-90. Nikola Vucevic took over and fueled a 10-0 run to conclude the contest and a 100-93 Magic victory.

Vucevic scored sixteen of his 20 points in the second half to go along with 9 rebounds as the Montenegrin displayed his All-Star level form when it counted. Evan Fournier added 17 points as the Magic had to deal with no Elfrid Payton after exiting the first period with a variety of physical ailments. Tobias Harris and Victor Oladipo each tallied 12 points while Aaron Gordon poured in eleven.

Orlando won the rebound battle 50-37 despite Brook Lopez notching 24 points and 15 rebounds. Bojan Bogdanovic came up with another 20-point performance against the pinstriped patrol. Orlando only shot 43.9 FG%, but their 9-for-26 shooting from long range was a huge difference. They held Brooklyn to 42.2 FG% and just 3-of-20 on 3-pointers. It’s a game you’re thrilled to pull out if you’re Orlando. The Magic maybe played half a decent quarter and still got the job done.

Below is the game recap.

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Tyler Harvey with His Steph Curry Impression in Erie

2015 December 30
by Adam Papageorgiou

ty

Orlando Magic second-round Draft selection Tyler Harvey has not had a great D-League season with the Erie BayHawks. That was until Tuesday night in Pennsylvania when he hit an NBDL record 7 three-pointers in the fourth quarter to lead the BayHawks back from a 21-point deficit against the Texas Legends and forced overtime.

The 22-year-old guard from Eastern Washington would hit two more 3-pointers in the two extra sessions as Harvey’s 29 points gave Erie the 125-120 home double overtime victory. The 10-of-24 shooting (9-of-18 3PTs) are a reminder that Tyler had a bad first half. Way to come back though, rook. Erie now owns a 5-9 win-loss record.

In 13 games and 12 starts as a BayHawk, Harvey is averaging 11.9 ppg on 35.0 FG% and 36.7 3PT% in just under 25 minutes per contest.

Watch the clips below and tell me that some of Harvey’s shots don’t remind you of Steph Curry.

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Vucevic’s Season-High 28 Points Buries Anthony Davis and Pelicans

2015 December 28
by Adam Papageorgiou
Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Orlando Magic big man Nikola Vucevic just put the NBA viewing public on notice: Get the Montenegrin center into the All-Star Game. Vooch’s season-high 28 points on 14-for-21 shooting out-dueled New Orleans star Anthony Davis and his 20 points, but also helped guide the Magic to a comfortable 104-89 victory over the Pelicans inside Amway Center.

On top of the 28 points, Nik also tallied 8 rebounds and a career-high tying 7 assists. Nik had never posted a 28-8-7 line prior to Monday evening. Vucevic is almost averaging 20 points per game now for the month of December. It’s the tenth time in his career that Nik has scored 28 points in a contest, but the first time he didn’t notch a double-double.

Orlando shot 54.9 FG% while holding NOLA to 44.6 FG% after some sketchy first half defense. It’s the 8th consecutive game in which Orlando has scored 100+ points. That had not been done since February of 2008. The Magic recorded 28 assists and shot 7-of-17 on 3-pointers. NOLA only managed 5-of-20 from deep.

After Vooch’s 28 points, came Evan Fournier pouring in 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting. What slump? Tobias Harris was yet again efficient with 14 points and 9 rebounds. Andrew Nicholson scored eleven of his 13 points in the fourth period during a spurt that really locked up the victory. Other than Norris Cole dropping 17 points and Tyreke Evans adding sixteen, Anthony Davis didn’t get much scoring help.

Below is the game recap.

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WATCH: Skiles, Vucevic, Elfrid Talk Tough Magic Loss Against Heat

2015 December 26
Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Not yet, Orlando Magic. Not yet. The basketball gods still want to teach you a few lessons first before you can truly make the leap. That locker room is down on itself, but they’re going to have to take this tough defeat at the hands of Miami and put it into trying to take down New Orleans and Brooklyn inside Amway Center before New Year’s.

It’s tough to see another Nikola Vucevic performance against Miami go to waste. Elfrid Payton knows he and the rest of the team need to raise their defensive levels again or losses like this will continue.

Scott Skiles:

 

Nikola Vucevic:

 

Elfrid Payton:

 

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO and Founder of Orlando Magic Greek

 

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

Orlando Shoots 2-of-9 on Free Throws in the 2nd Half in Defeat

2015 December 26
by Adam Papageorgiou
Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

The Orlando Magic were leading their in-state rivals on Saturday by 15 points early in the third period. Then Orlando couldn’t hit free throws. Miami would go on an 11-0 run early in the second half that would eventually fuel the Heat to a 108-101 victory inside Amway Center.

The Magic went a bad 2-of-9 from the free throw line in the second half. Orando shot 6-of-13 for the game while Miami shot 22-of-23. That was literally the difference. Orlando was 9-of-19 on 3s while Miami was 10-of-20 from long range (5-of-7 in the fourth).

Nikola Vucevic led the Magic with 22 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists. Elfrid Payton scored ten of his 16 points and 7 assists in the final period. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh each led Miami with 24 points each while Goran Dragic chipped in wit 22 points. It’s a tough pill to swallow for the Magic, but it’s something they’ll need to find a way to learn from as their home stand continues to close out 2015.

Below is the game recap.

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WATCH: Scott Skiles and Magic Players Talk Heat in Shootaround

2015 December 26
Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Scott Skiles and the rest of the Orlando Magic squad on Saturday morning discussed their first of 4 matchups against the Miami Heat beginning tonight. For as hard as I push for the Magic-Heat in-state rivalry to catch fire again, the NBA is just a different landscape from the ’90s. With trades, AAU leagues, and other factors causing professional players to see so much of each other growing up, it’s really difficult for rivalries to sprout or reemerge. Vucevic has been having an outstanding month of December so far.

Scott Skiles:

 

Nikola Vucevic:

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People of Orlando: Go Vote!

2015 December 26
by Adam Papageorgiou
Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

The first 2016 All-Star Game balloting results are in, and there isn’t an Orlando Magic player in sight among the Eastern Conference top-25.

eastvotes

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WATCH: Mario Hezonja Will Nutmeg and Block Your Kid’s Shots

2015 December 24
by Adam Papageorgiou

marionutmeg

It was family day at Orlando Magic practice on Christmas Eve, and what better way to enjoy it than watching Mario Hezonja play pick-up basketball with kids. As we’ve come to expect from the Croatian, the 20-year-old is quite a unique character. He’s got a fun personality, but combines that with deadly competitiveness. He didn’t show much mercy towards some of the coaching staff’s children as you’ll see below.

It starts out fairly harmless in the first thirty seconds. I won’t say which kids belong to which coaches, but Mario is teammates with one child in each video you’ll see, going up against two other kids. It’s a pick-up game, so Mario is finding that balance between not crushing souls, but also winning.

One thing Hezonja does constantly is call out for screens. It’s like Euroleague all over again.

Then 33 seconds in Mario just decides to go into full “GIMME THAT” rejection mode on one of the kid’s jumpers. Hezonja takes over a bit and start scoring lay-ups. He’ll even lift you up to go through a screen.

So let’s get to the second video. A taller kid comes in to go against Mario.

Immediately, the kid drains a lefty jump shot in Mario’s grill. You see some of the Magic assistants give Hezonja a good ribbing. Game on.

Hezonja grabs a rebound 33 seconds into this second video and immediately tries a nutmeg on the kid who drains the jumper. No dice. Just a few seconds later, success! The kid who gets the nutmeg, actually tries to get Mario back at the 1:25 mark. Mario wasn’t having it.

All of this is going on with Aaron Gordon getting up a lot of 3-point practice as well as Shabazz Napier, Victor Oladipo, and Devyn Marble taking part in some serious 1-on-1 action on the far court, and here’s Mario being animated and jacking 3s in these kids’ faces while also threatening to block their shots and passes. It’s pretty awesome.

Super Mario’s team wins and the 20-year-old yells out a triumphant “Yeeeeaaaaahhhhhh!” and “Game!” then slaps hands with the kids. Don’t ever change, Mario.

 

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO and Founder of Orlando Magic Greek

 

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

WATCH: Magic Talk Win Over Rockets in Locker Room Interviews

2015 December 23
Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Current Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic said it best when he mentioned that Orlando can end the 2015 calendar year with 20 wins. That number isn’t a coincidence in Vooch’s head, that’s how many games Orlando won in the entire 2012-2013 season. But like Vooch, the rest of the locker room is far from satisfied or complacent. They know that defense hasn’t been great of late and that they have to keep finding a way to take care of business until the defense gets righted. Evan Fournier continues to embrace big moment situations.

Scott Skiles:

 

Evan Fournier:

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Orlando Guts Out a Tight Home Victory Past Dwight and Houston

2015 December 23
by Adam Papageorgiou
Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

The Orlando Magic beat Dwight Howard at Amway Center for the second time ever on Wednesday night. Not a bad early Christmas gift as the Magic won 104-101. Evan Fournier – who played the entire second half – drained a driving jumper with 14.2 seconds left to put the home squad up a point on the Houston Rockets. A few Tobias Harris clutch free throws and some phenomenal defense when it counted, including forcing Marcus Thornton into a weak off-balanced 3-point attempt as the final buzzer sounded, and Orlando has now won 5 of their last 6 games.

Houston may have took that fourth period 27-17, but the Magic showed enough poise to get the job done.Nikola Vucevic continues his fantastic December, posting 21 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists. He won the battle against Dwight Howard as the former Magic center posted 12 points as all six of his field goals were dunks. A very passionate 17,061 spectators displayed plenty of emotion against Dwight. James Harden led all scorers with 31 points, but Orlando holding him to just 6 free throw attempts is a defensive victory.

Six Magic men reached double figures, including all five starters. Tobias Harris tallied 19 points on a very efficient 8-of-10 shooting to go with 8 rebounds. Evan Fournier had 17 points and another clutch shot under his belt. Aaron Gordon played some good defense against Harden and scored 14 second quarter points. Elfrid Payton still doesn’t look fully healthy, but he fought hard and notched 12 points and 9 assists.

Orlando had to defend on their offense by shooting 52.4 FG% as Houston managed a respectable 49.4 FG%. Six of the Magic’s 13 turnovers came in the final period, but they offset that by winning the points in the paint battle 60-54. Magic Killers Trevor Ariza (0-of-8 on 3s) and Marcus Thornton (2-of-8 FGs) were shockingly ineffective on offense.

Below is the game recap.

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