Magic Win Another OT Thriller Behind Payton, Fournier

By on November 19, 2015
Evan Fournier (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

Evan Fournier (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

ORLANDO, Fla – The Orlando Magic needed overtime to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 104-101 at the Amway Center on Wednesday. Point guard Elfrid Payton scored a career-high 24 points in the win, and shooting guard Evan Fournier got three of his 26 points by way of a game clinching three-pointer at the end of overtime.

The Magic have often been a strong first-half team this season, only to see their lead erased in the third quarter. On Wednesday it was quite the opposite, as the Magic had one of the least productive first quarters of their season, but battled back for 33 points in the third quarter.

The Magic looked out of sync from the start of the game, struggling to finish around the rim on their numerous second chance opportunities. Though the team grabbed 14 offensive rebounds in the first half, they shot just 32%. This equated to a 38-52 deficit at the break.

“We were just awful,” Said Fournier on the team’s first half, “We were playing soft…we obviously did great things in the second half, but we cannot play this way again ever.”

At the epicenter of this inefficiency was center Nikola Vucevic. The Montenegrin big man leads the Magic in shooting percentage (49.6%) so far, but shot a lackluster 4-13 from the floor heading into halftime. He would not return to the court.

“I just didn’t think he played very well,” said a terse Scott Skiles on his decision to bench Vucevic.

When the buzzer sounded to start the second half, it was Elfrid Payton, Evan Fournier, Tobias Harris, Channing Frye, and Dewayne Dedmon who took the floor. This lineup didn’t last long, however, as Dedmon got into foul trouble early.

With an already depleted roster the Magic needed help from the bench, and they would get it from the unlikeliest of sources.

At the scorer’s table was center Jason Smith, a seven footer who often finds himself buried behind Vucevic and Dedmon in the depth chart. Then came Andrew Nicholson, 2011’s first round pick that has never measured up to the hype – playing only seven minutes across two games this season. This would be their night to shine.

With this unorthodox lineup of players who rarely play at all, much less at the same time, the Magic would go on a 15-0 run and take the lead on a Minnesota team that had dominated their starters. The Magic rode that momentum into the second highest scoring quarter of their season, cutting the deficit from 14 to just five entering the fourth quarter.

During the fourth Orlando would lead by as much as seven, but a late run by Minnesota paved the way for extra basketball.

With a 93-91 lead Elfrid Payton made a rare error, turning the ball over with six seconds left to play. That would prove just enough time for 2014’s first overall pick Andrew Wiggins to bank in a jumper for the tie. Wiggins gave the Magic problems all night, finishing with a game-high 28 points.

Overtime was just as offensively inept as the first quarter for both teams, each settling for bad shots and missing good ones. After several lead changes, the game would shift on two highlight reel worthy three-pointers by Fournier.

The first came with two defenders draped over him. As he realized the shot clock was expiring, the Frenchman spun, planted his feet awkwardly, and nailed the shot from deep. The second came at 3.1 seconds left in overtime with the score tied at 101. Fournier caught the ball with premier defender Tayshaun Prince in prime position, exactly the look that Minnesota wanted. Fournier nonetheless squared him up and launched, sending it straight through the hoop.

After a missed three by Timberwolves shooting guard Zach Levine, the Magic were able to escape with a win – bringing their record to 6-6.

After a slow start to the season, Elfrid Payton had a career game against the Timberwolves. The second year guard would finish as the most efficient scorer for the Magic, hitting 11 of his 23 shots for 24 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and four steals on the night.

The next game for Orlando will be this Saturday at home against the Kings before traveling to Cleveland to face the Cavs on Monday.

1 2 3 4 OT T
MIN 25 27 24 17 8 101
ORL 17 21 33 22 11 104
Minnesota Timberwolves
STARTERS MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
Adreian Payne, PF 16 0-6 0-1 0-0 1 4 5 1 0 0 1 0 0 0
Tayshaun Prince, SF 30 2-3 0-0 0-0 0 3 3 1 0 0 0 1 -3 4
Karl-Anthony Towns, C 37 8-12 0-1 5-6 3 9 12 0 0 6 4 2 -7 21
Ricky Rubio, PG 35 3-11 0-1 2-2 2 10 12 12 1 0 3 3 0 8
Andrew Wiggins, SG 38 8-17 0-1 12-14 3 2 5 1 0 2 2 2 -8 28
BENCH MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
Nemanja Bjelica, PF 19 1-4 1-4 0-0 0 4 4 1 0 0 0 6 +10 3
Shabazz Muhammad, SF 17 2-7 0-3 0-0 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 2 -7 4
Gorgui Dieng, C 21 3-6 0-0 1-2 1 6 7 1 2 5 1 3 -5 7
Zach LaVine, PG 30 6-12 2-5 0-0 0 3 3 3 0 0 3 4 0 14
Kevin Martin, SG 21 3-7 1-2 5-6 0 4 4 1 1 0 0 0 +5 12
Damjan Rudez, SF DNP COACH’S DECISION
Andre Miller, PG DNP COACH’S DECISION
Tyus Jones, PG DNP COACH’S DECISION
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
36-85 4-18 25-30 11 46 57 21 4 13 14 23 101
42.4% 22.2% 83.3%
Fast break points:   22
Points in the paint:   38
Total Team Turnovers (Points off turnovers):   16 (22)
+/- 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
Tobias Harris, SF 42 5-15 0-2 2-2 3 8 11 2 0 0 0 2 +1 12
Evan Fournier, SF 43 9-17 5-7 3-4 2 2 4 3 3 0 3 1 +11 26
Nikola Vucevic, C 16 4-13 0-0 0-0 5 2 7 1 1 0 0 1 -10 8
Elfrid Payton, PG 41 11-23 0-0 2-5 2 5 7 6 4 0 1 2 +12 24
Victor Oladipo, SG 20 0-6 0-2 1-4 1 2 3 2 1 1 1 4 -8 1
BENCH MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
Aaron Gordon, PF 14 2-3 0-0 1-2 2 0 2 2 0 2 1 1 -2 5
Channing Frye, PF 7 0-2 0-2 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 +4 0
Jason Smith, PF 27 1-5 0-0 3-3 3 7 10 1 0 1 2 4 +16 5
Andrew Nicholson, PF 22 3-12 2-3 0-0 2 5 7 0 0 0 0 2 +17 8
Dewayne Dedmon, C 10 2-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 -3 4
Shabazz Napier, PG 15 3-9 2-4 1-1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 -15 9
Mario Hezonja, SG 8 1-3 0-1 0-0 0 2 2 2 0 0 0 0 -8 2
Devyn Marble, SF DNP COACH’S DECISION
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
41-110 9-21 13-21 20 34 54 20 10 4 9 21 104
37.3% 42.9% 61.9%
Fast break points:   19
Points in the paint:   56
Total Team Turnovers (Points off turnovers):   9 (11)
+/- denotes team’s net points while the player is on the court.

 Flagrant Fouls: None
 Technical Fouls: PLAYERS: None – TEAMS: None – COACHES: None
 Officials: Derrick Collins, Eli Roe, Monty McCutchen
 Attendance: 16,048

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