Magic Musings: Orlando’s home win streak ends at hands of Grizzlies

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orlando Magic’s five-game home winning streak was brought to an end Wednesday night by the undermanned but gutty Memphis Grizzlies.

Despite being without both Mike Conley and Tony Allen, and then losing Marc Gasol in the third quarter, the Grizzlies had what it took in the last two minutes to pull out an 86-81 victory.

The Magic trailed by as many as 13 points in the second quarter and 64-61 entering the fourth quarter. But a layup by Jameer Nelson with 1:59 remaining gave them an 80-79 lead. They did not score again until a meaningless basket by Arron Afflalo in the closing seconds.

Neither team led by more than five the entire fourth quarter until Courtney Lee’s two free throws with 9.9 seconds to go.

The Magic had averaged 107 points and shot 47.4 percent from the floor while winning five in a row at home for the first time in more than two years. But their last game before the All-Star break saw them matched up against the third-best defensive team in the NBA.

Box score

No one on the Magic finished with more than 13 points. Victor Oladipo, who had played well off the bench the last three games, managed only seven points on 2-of-11 shooting.

Nick Calathes, a rookie from Florida and a two-time Florida Mr. Basketball while at nearby Lake Howell High School, started in place of Conley for the seventh game in a row. He had 12 points, six assists, five rebounds and a block of a shot by Oladipo with 1:26 remaining and the Grizzlies clinging to an 80-79 lead.

THE TURNING POINT

Nelson’s potential go-ahead 3-pointer with less than a minute to go bounced off the back rim and triggered a fast break by the Grizzlies. Afflalo was called for a clear path foul on Lee, who made both free throws. The Grizzlies retained possession because of the foul, and Zach Randolph’s running hook gave them an 84-79 advantage.

THE DIFFERENCE MAKER

Randolph led all scorers with 20 points, including a jump shot with 1:39 remaining to put the Grizzlies ahead for good.

STAT OF THE GAME

In his last game before taking part in the NBA’s 3-point shooting contest Saturday night, Afflalo went scoreless until two minutes into the third quarter and finished with only 10 points.

WHAT’S NEXT

Tuesday night at Milwaukee, 8 p.m. (FOX Sports Florida).

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