Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
9-15 FG | 4-6 FT | 16 REB | 3 AST | 22 PTS | +8
Vucevic played out of character against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday, but he looked more like himself versus the Minnesota Timberwolves, notching his first double-double of the season — with the added bonus that it came against fellow countrymen Nikola Pekovic. Vucevic returned to form by sticking with what he does best: scoring off of midrange jumpers and offensive rebound putbacks, and sucking up rebounds like a vacuum.
5-14 FG | 1-5 3P | 6 REB | 4 AST | 14 PTS | -5
In the Magic’s first close game of the season, Oladipo was on the court in crunch time. And for literally a split-second, it looked as though he was going to be the hero after he made two clutch free-throws with 12.5 seconds left to give Orlando a 103-100 lead. But Kevin Love proved to be even more heroic with his game-tying 3-pointer, which came seconds later.
11-22 FG | 3-5 3P | 9 REB | 5 AST | 28 PTS | +4
What’s worse? The fact that Afflalo was caught in no man’s land and defending nobody on Love’s game-tying 3-pointer? Or the fact that, on the ensuing possession, Afflalo held the ball in isolation for several seconds before clanking a fadeaway jumper to try to win the game? Bonus question: why did head coach Jacque Vaughn draw up an isolation play for Afflalo in the first place?
7-17 FG | 3-11 3P | 4 REB | 8 AST | 18 PTS | -3
The Timberwolves’ strategy in defending Nelson in the pick-and-roll was by going under the pick and forcing him to shoot jumpers. And Nelson did that, making several 3-pointers off the dribble in pick-and-roll sets. But what was more surprising was that he was still able to get to the rim for layups, thanks to his foot speed. Father Time hasn’t caught up to Nelson yet.
With the Magic leading by the score of 103-100 in the closing seconds of regulation, it seemed like the obvious decision would have been to foul Minnesota before they attempted a 3-point shot. But that didn’t happen. Instead, Love made a wide-open 3-pointer to tie the game and send it into overtime, and the Timberwolves ultimately came away with a victory.