OH NO! Magic Continues to Stumble, Lose to Sixers

By on January 21, 2016

 

“Our lack of competitiveness is frightening, really,” said Orlando Magic coach Scott Skiles following Wednesday’s 87-96 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. It seemed like the Magic had hit rock bottom after losing seven of the last eight games, but few could imagine a home loss to the NBA’s losingest team, the 5-38 76ers. Now Orlando is under .500 for the first time since November 25th, and the Sixers have their 6th win of the season.

 

 Jahlil Okafor (8) slams oevr Elfrid Payton (4). Okafor and Payton each led their teams in scoring, 20 and 21 points respectively but  Okafor and the Sixers won 96-87.  (photo Kim Klement / USA TODAY Sports)

Jahlil Okafor (8) slams over Elfrid Payton. Okafor and Payton each led their teams in scoring, 20 and 21 points respectively but Okafor and the Sixers won 96-87. (photo Kim Klement / USA TODAY Sports)

Everything seemed normal early in the game. The Magic defense resembled the unit that went 10-5 in December – flying across the court and boxing out on rebounds. Orlando climbed to a 20-10 lead in the first quarter, and it looked like they would cruise to an easy victory.

That would be the last time anything looked easy for the Magic. The Sixers surged to a 13-1 run to end the first quarter, and the Magic never recovered.

“We started off great,” said Magic center Nikola Vucevic, “They made a run and our flow was gone and we never got it back.”

In addition to their difficulty finding an offensive rhythm, the Magic struggled to hit the open shots they were given. After starting off 0-4 from three-point range, Orlando finished just 4-of-17.

Part of this drought from beyond the arc was the ineffectiveness of shooting guard Evan Fournier. Fournier, who has shot 46% over the last month, was a disappointing 3-of-14 from the floor, including 2-of-5 from deep.

The Magic as a team shot a mere 39% from the field, despite the efficient play of point guard Elfrid Payton. Payton scored a game-high 21 points (8-13) with 10 assists and six rebounds to round out one of his best performances of the year.

Depth at the point guard position continued to plague the Magic, as Victor Oladipo and C.J. Watson remained sidelined with injuries. After a brief, unproductive (0-3 shooting, -10 plus/minus) outing by Shabazz Napier, coach Skiles looked to break in some new talent.

Keith Appling, a four-year player at Michigan State, was signed to a 10-day contract earlier this week. Appling played six minutes on Wednesday, and even saw a bit of time at shooting guard opposite Elfrid Payton. Though he logged three personal fouls, the former Spartan played well given the circumstances.

For Orlando, December seems so long ago. Injuries, bad bounces, and a more difficult schedule have led the Magic to lose eight of their last nine games. Then team has gone from the fourth seed in the East to the outside looking in on the playoffs. If Orlando’s frustration could be encapsulated in a single game, it would be Wednesday night versus the Sixers.

The Magic (20-21) look to rebound from this disappointing loss when they take on the Charlotte Hornets at home on Friday. A win Friday will put the team at .500 going into their three-game road trip the following week.

PHILADELPHIA 76ERS (6-38)
                                                    FIELD GOALS                     REBOUNDS
POS MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A +/- OFF DEF TOT AST PF ST TO BS BA PTS
R. Covington F 30:16 2-8 2-7 2-2 -2 0 11 11 1 3 3 4 0 0 8
N. Noel F 19:04 2-2 0-0 0-2 +7 1 7 8 1 1 0 1 2 0 4
J. Okafor C 37:46 9-17 0-0 2-2 +1 1 4 5 1 0 1 3 1 0 20
J. Sampson G 07:41 0-3 0-1 0-0 -8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
I. Smith G 30:26 6-11 0-0 1-1 +7 0 2 2 11 5 0 3 0 0 13
J. Grant 27:32 3-7 1-1 5-8 +12 1 5 6 1 3 2 0 5 3 12
H. Thompson 30:12 7-10 3-5 0-0 +14 0 3 3 0 2 0 1 0 0 17
I. Canaan 27:51 5-8 3-4 2-2 +14 0 1 1 1 1 2 2 0 0 15
T.J. McConnell 17:33 0-5 0-0 3-4 +2 1 3 4 4 3 0 0 0 0 3
R. Holmes 11:39 2-3 0-1 0-0 -2 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 4
C. Landry DNP – COACH’S DECISION
K. Marshall DNP – COACH’S DECISION
N. Stauskas DNP – COACH’S DECISION
Total 240 36-74 9-19 15-21 4 37 41 20 19 8 14 8 3 96
48.6% 47.4% 71.4% TEAM REBS: 10 TOTAL TO: 15
ORLANDO MAGIC (20-21)
                                                FIELD GOALS                   REBOUNDS
POS MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A +/- OFF DEF TOT AST PF ST TO BS BA PTS
T. Harris F 35:35 5-13 1-3 4-7 -10 1 9 10 2 2 1 1 1 1 15
C. Frye F 11:43 1-6 1-4 0-0 0 2 2 4 3 1 1 2 0 0 3
N. Vucevic C 36:46 7-15 0-0 1-2 -3 2 9 11 1 2 2 2 1 3 15
E. Fournier G 37:24 3-14 2-5 1-2 -14 2 1 3 1 2 5 2 0 1 9
E. Payton G 40:58 8-13 0-1 5-9 -1 3 3 6 10 2 2 3 0 1 21
S. Napier 04:19 0-3 0-1 0-0 -10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
A. Gordon 32:16 3-7 0-2 1-1 -3 2 6 8 1 1 0 1 0 0 7
J. Smith 11:14 2-4 0-0 0-0 -6 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 4
M. Hezonja 16:26 3-5 0-1 3-3 -3 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 9
K. Appling 06:10 1-3 0-0 2-2 +8 0 1 1 0 3 0 1 0 0 4
D. Marble 02:27 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
D. Dedmon 04:42 0-1 0-0 0-0 -3 0 2 2 0 1 0 1 0 1 0
A. Nicholson DNP – COACH’S DECISION
Total 240 33-84 4-17 17-26 13 34 47 19 14 12 14 3 8 87
39.3% 23.5% 65.4% TEAM REBS: 6 TOTAL TO: 14

INACTIVE

  • 76ers: Brand, Embiid
  • Magic: Oladipo, Watson

TECHNICAL FOULS

  • 76ers:
  • Magic:

SCORING

  • Lead Changes: 3
  • Times Tied: 6

ARENA STATS

  • Arena: Amway Center, Orlando, FL
  • Officials: #24 Mike Callahan, #37 Eric Dalen, #55 Bill Kennedy
  • Attendance: 17746
  • Duration: 2:06
Categories: Basketball, Featured, Sports
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