Magic Beat Nets in Ugly Fashion

By on December 31, 2015

 Nets center Brook Lopez shuts down Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo on this one. . (photo Jeff Griffith / USA TODAY Sports)

Nets center Brook Lopez shuts down Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo on this one, but Oladipo finished with 12 points and 7 rebounds. “We’re Winning”  (photo Jeff Griffith / USA TODAY Sports)

ORLANDO, Fla – The Magic (19-13) held on the beat the Brooklyn Nets (9-23) by a score of 100-93 on Wednesday night. In an ugly win at home, the Magic capped off a 10-5 record in the month of December.

It was a team effort, with four Magic players scoring double digits. After a slow start, Nikola Vucevic scored 16 points in the second half to lift the Magic over their Eastern Conference foes.

The matchup came as an all too familiar measuring stick for Vucevic against one of the premier centers in the league. Brook Lopez has been one of the few bright spots on this Nets roster, averaging 19 points, eight rebounds, and two blocks per game this season.

Lopez said of his counterpart, “[Vucevic] is talented and he does lots of things well. They look for him when they need something.” Vucevic finished the game with 20 points on 50% shooting, with 9 rebounds and three assists.

Midway through the third quarter, it looked like the farthest thing from an easy matchup against the second-worst team in the East. Vucevic only had four points in the first half, while Robin Lopez feasted – putting up 15 points and nine rebounds before halftime.

The Magic offense was out of sync, and the normally steadfast defense gave up four points to start the third quarter. The team was down 12 to one of the worst teams of basketball, and a feeling of tension radiated throughout the Amway Center.

It was off of a seemly random play that the tide changed, and the Magic took control. With 5:30 left in the third quarter, shooting guard Victor Oladipo’s three-pointer clanged off the rim and it looked like another wasted possession – another miss for Oladipo. But small forward Tobias Harris went up strong with both hands and flushed it through over two defenders.

The Amway Center exploded into cheers and the comeback was on in Orlando. Two Magic steals and some good defense cut the lead to just three – a nine-point swing – in a little over a minute’s time.

Magic coach Scott Skiles wasn’t convinced that any one moment led to the comeback, but he thinks Tobias’s putback certainly helped, “…If we were going to win, we needed some kid of catalyst. That was a big play, kind of got the building going a bit.”

The Nets would make one final push late in the fourth quarter, but the Magic stayed calm and played through their big man to secure the win. Just like Lopez said, the Magic needed something, and they looked at Nikola Vucevic.

A peculiar storyline on Wednesday night was the play of former second overall pick Victor Oladipo. Oladipo opened the game by hitting a three, but then missed his next six shots. He was careless with the ball, committing five turnovers and shooting 27% on the night. Despite all of this he led all players with a +15 plus/minus, and was an integral part of the Magic comeback.

The former starter, who now comes off the bench, delivered a lengthy speech to reporters after the game – saying that he’s very aware of fans’ criticism. “Don’t judge me off of whether I miss or make shots,” said Oladipo, “Judge me on my effort or how I play the game. Anybody in this locker room will tell you I go out there and play as hard as I can. And I feel like I’m a big reason why we’re winning some of these games, and if you say differently, you’re a fool.”

The Magic (19-13) will hit the road following Wednesday’s win to take on two teams that have given them problems recently. They visit the Washington Wizards on Friday, and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday, and the two opponents are a combined 4-0 against Orlando this season. They will also play Detroit on Monday before returning home.

Brooklyn Nets
STARTERS MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
Thaddeus Young, PF 27 5-7 0-0 6-6 2 2 4 3 1 0 1 2 -10 16
Joe Johnson, SF 34 3-8 1-5 0-0 1 2 3 0 1 0 1 1 -11 7
Brook Lopez, C 39 7-18 0-1 10-12 6 9 15 2 3 5 2 3 -5 24
Jarrett Jack, PG 33 2-11 0-4 1-1 0 5 5 10 2 0 3 2 -2 5
Bojan Bogdanovic, SG 38 9-17 1-6 1-1 1 5 6 3 0 0 1 3 -3 20
BENCH MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
Thomas Robinson, PF 4 2-4 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 2 +3 4
Willie Reed, PF 9 3-5 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 6
Andrea Bargnani, C 14 1-4 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 -1 2
Shane Larkin, PG 24 0-3 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 5 2 0 2 2 -1 0
Wayne Ellington, SG 17 3-6 1-4 2-2 0 1 1 0 0 0 2 1 -5 9
Donald Sloan, PG DNP COACH’S DECISION
Markel Brown, SG DNP COACH’S DECISION
Sergey Karasev, SG DNP COACH’S DECISION
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
35-83 3-20 20-22 11 26 37 23 12 6 12 18 93
42.2% 15.0% 90.9%
Fast break points:   15
Points in the paint:   42
Total Team Turnovers (Points off turnovers):   12 (15)
+/- denotes team’s net points while the player is on the court.

Orlando Magic

STARTERS MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
Channing Frye, PF 22 3-7 2-5 0-0 1 5 6 1 0 0 1 1 -12 8
Tobias Harris, SF 37 5-13 0-3 2-3 2 6 8 3 1 0 2 0 +10 12
Evan Fournier, SF 40 5-12 3-8 4-4 1 2 3 5 2 0 2 2 +11 17
Nikola Vucevic, C 35 9-18 0-0 2-2 5 4 9 3 0 0 2 4 +17 20
Elfrid Payton, PG 5 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0
BENCH MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
Aaron Gordon, PF 26 3-5 1-1 3-4 3 4 7 0 1 2 0 2 +8 10
Jason Smith, PF 7 2-3 0-0 2-2 0 3 3 0 0 1 0 4 -1 6
Andrew Nicholson, PF 7 3-5 0-1 0-0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 6
Dewayne Dedmon, C 6 1-3 0-0 0-0 1 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 -9 2
Shabazz Napier, PG 17 2-4 1-2 2-2 1 2 3 4 1 0 2 3 -9 7
Mario Hezonja, SG 8 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 +5 0
Victor Oladipo, SG 29 3-11 2-5 4-4 2 5 7 3 1 0 5 2 +15 12
Devyn Marble, SF DNP COACH’S DECISION
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
36-82 9-26 19-21 17 33 50 21 6 4 16 18 100
43.9% 34.6% 90.5%
Fast break points:   5
Points in the paint:   42
Total Team Turnovers (Points off turnovers):   17 (20)
+/- denotes team’s net points while the player is on the court.

 Flagrant Fouls: None
 Technical Fouls: PLAYERS:None -TEAMS: None -COACHES:None
 Officials: Derek Richardson, David Jones, Marc Davis
 Attendance: 18,397
 Time of Game: 2:09

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