The Orlando Magic concluded their 2016 preseason action with a 2-5 record. They looked awful for about the first 40 minutes of Thursday’s contest, but they took down the New Orleans Pelicans 114-111 in overtime. 23-point comebacks are wonderful, even when they don’t officially count.
Despite trailing by 10 entering the fourth quarter Orlando turned on their defense, winning that period 30-20 to force overtime. Some key stops and a crazy Elfrid Payton banking 3-pointer tied the ball game at 105-105 with thirty seconds remaining in regulation. Payton had himself quite the stat line, and saw good and bad moments with him dominating the ball late. EP finished with 17 points, 12 assists, 2 steals, 6 turnovers, and 4 rebounds on 7-of-14 shooting (2-of-5 on 3s). Overtime would soon follow.
The Magic didn’t take their first lead of the contest until Nikola Vucevic opened the OT with a made jumper. Nik finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds, but continues to see his open jumpers not fall as he was 4-of-13 from the field. Evan Fournier had 24 points, but his 4 steals in the fourth and OT were immense in leading the charge.
Anthony Davis led all with 33 points and 13 rebounds in 37 minutes. Terrence Jones is proving to be a great sixth man as he notched 24 points. For the victors, Serge Ibaka tallied 18 points and 9 rebounds, while Aaron Gordon had 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. AG will hit another gear once the ankles fully heal up. Jeff Green had an efficient 12 points. He took 4 field goals attempts but was 7-of-8 at the charity stripe.
Aaron Gordon: “That was big. It was definitely a spread of scoring throughout the whole team and just to go into the season on a high note is big. We need to be able to rally from down. It’s part of the game. We did it tonight. That’s a step forward for us.”
Both teams shot just under 43% from the field. Orlando won the assists battle, 27-23. After giving up 7 turnovers, the Magic only coughed up eight the rest of the way. The Magic won the fast break points sprint, 18-11.