Magic Beat Pelicans in Overtime, Finish Preseason with 2-5 Record

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.

Biyombo-Ibaka Frontcourt on Display in Loss to Hawks

The Orlando Magic lost to an Atlanta Hawks squad that rested a lot of players on Sunday, falling 105-98 at Amway Center. With Nikola Vucevic receiving the night off, Magic coach Frank Vogel pounced on the opportunity to see what a starting lineup that included both Bismack Biyombo and Serge Ibaka together on the court would look like for long stretches of a contest.

Statistically, the results were intriguing. Serge Ibaka had a game-high 25 points to go with 6 rebounds and 2 blocks on 9-of-15 shooting (1-of-3 on 3s) and 6-of-6 at the free throw line in 36 minutes of work. That’s the same amount of time Bismack Biyombo played as Biz had a game-high 19 rebounds and 5 blocks to go with 7 points, 1 assists, and 1 steal. That bad for Biz was the 2-of-7 shooting, but also the concerning 3-of-10 free throw shooting.

The Magic lost this contest because they gave up too many Hawks 3-pointers (10-of-27) and Orlando shooting just 12-of-24 at the free throw line. Hawks were held to 40.9 FG% Orlando shot 44.2 FG% and 10-of-25 on 3s.

At times, Atlanta figured out ways to exploit Biyombo by making sure he had to defend a Hawks big that was capable of hitting triples. After Orlando had the blocks advantage for the majority of the night, Atlanta got some key swats in the fourth period and won that statistic 11-10. When Orlando desperately needed any time of bucket, not having Vucevic available was a gaping absence.

Paul Millsap tallied 19 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists in just 19 minutes of action. Tim Hardaway Jr. also notched 19 points. Thabo Sefolosha added 15 points, and rookie Taurean Prince contributed thirteen. The Magic 22 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists from Evan Fournier. Elfrid Payton added 14 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds, but also 5 turnovers. D.J. Augustin poured in 12 points off the bench.