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10-18 FG | 2-5 3P | 1 REB | 2 AST | 24 PTS | -4
There were a few times in the third quarter when the Magic ran 1-2 pick-and-rolls for Nelson and Afflalo. On one possession, Afflalo slipped the screen and made an uncontested jumper. On another possession, Orlando forced a switch, so that Ty Lawson (Nelson’s defender) had to defend Afflalo in the post. That led to a fadeaway jumper for Afflalo over the shorter Lawson. It was an effective set.
8-17 FG | 4-4 FT | 16 REB | 3 AST | 20 PTS | -9
It was all Vucevic in the first quarter. who had 16 points (7-for-14 shooting from the floor) and seven rebounds. It was rare to see him get so many touches in a half. Vucevic got a majority of his points on offensive rebound putbacks and midrange jump shots in pick-and-pop sets. Although he finished with 20-16, Vucevic really slowed down offensively after halftime.
7-12 FG | 4-8 3P | 3 REB | 9 AST | 19 PTS | -2
Nelson made a costly mistake in crunch time that thwarted the Magic’s late comeback attempt. With Orlando trailing 115-110, O’Quinn committed a traveling violation with 1:03 left. The turnover occurred because Nelson made a bad decision and threw a home run pass to O’Quinn in transition that almost went out-of-bounds. O’Quinn traveled trying to save the ball. It was a blown chance to make it a one-possession game.
5-12 FG | 5-5 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 15 PTS | -3
For three and a half quarters, Oladipo barely attacked the rim. Then with the Magic trying to erase a 15-point deficit and get another come-from-behind victory at home, Oladipo finally started driving to the basket midway through the fourth quarter. Unfortunately for Oladipo, it was too little, too late. Oladipo’s passive-aggressive nature on offense was reflective of Orlando as a whole.
Because the Magic are owed a 2014 first round pick from either the Nuggets or New York Knicks (the least favorable of the two), surprisingly enough, this matchup had important implications. If Orlando had won, that would have been another game in the loss column for Denver. With the Nuggets and Knicks currently out of the playoff picture, every loss matters for the Magic.