Magic Musings: Oladipo’s return not enough for Orlando in Milwaukee

Even the Milwaukee Bucks, owners of the NBA’s worst record this season, have been able to get the best of the road-weary Orlando Magic.

The Magic lost at Milwaukee for the second time in less than a month as the Bucks took control to begin the fourth quarter and held on down the stretch for a 105-98 victory.

Up by 18 points early in the second quarter, the Magic appeared on their way to tying last season’s win total of 20. Instead, they fell to 4-30 on the road and became only the second team in the last 15 games to fail to score at least 100 points against the Bucks, who were only 7-26 at home and 12-50 overall.

The Magic almost pulled off an incredible comeback after trailing 95-81 with 2:50 remaining. They went on a 13-2 run, capped by a 3-point basket from Jameer Nelson, to make it a one-possession game. But E’Twaun Moore quickly — and perhaps unnecessarily — fouled Ramon Sessions, who made both free throws to give the Bucks a five-point lead. The Magic would get no closer than that the rest of the way.

Rookie Victor Oladipo was back in action after missing two games due to a sore left ankle. He did not start and played less than 19 minutes, although he finished with 12 points.

Magic vs. Bucks

Seven Magic players scored in double figures, but no one ended up with more than 14 points. Tobias Harris, who was acquired from the Bucks a little more than a year ago, came off the bench for the second game in a row and had 11 points at halftime but failed to score in the second half.

THE TURNING POINT

The Magic led 71-68 through three quarters, but a 9-0 run by the Bucks — with all their points coming from Brandon Knight — put them ahead to stay.

THE DIFFERENCE MAKER

Bucks forward Khris Middleton had 13 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, including three 3-pointers.

STAT OF THE GAME

Cheerleader Gallery

The Magic set a season low for free throws made with five in eight attempts, while the Bucks tied an NBA season low for the fewest fouls (nine).

WHAT’S NEXT

Wednesday night vs. Denver, 7 p.m. (FOX Sports Florida).

You can follow Ken Hornack on Twitter @HornackFSFla or email him at khornack32176@gmail.com.