Magic Musings: Orlando bulldozes through visiting Trail Blazers
ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orlando Magic need to find a way to have the Portland Trail Blazers come to town more often.
The Magic snapped a 12-game losing streak with a victory over the Blazers in February of last year. A similar scenario took place Tuesday night as 25 points from Tobias Harris and 22 from Nikola Vucevic helped lift them to a 95-85 win which stopped a slide that had reached nine in a row.
The Magic led by as many 19 points and held the Blazers to 37.2 percent shooting in winning for the first time since March 2 against the Philadelphia 76ers. They never trailed after scoring 16 unanswered points in the second quarter, highlighted by Victor Oladipo’s three-point play in which his move at the top of the key caused Blazers guard Mo Williams to crumple to the floor.
Harris finished with 25 points and 11 rebounds, while Vucevic had 22 points and 10 rebounds.
Jameer Nelson remained out for the Magic due to a sore left knee. It was the fourth game in a row that he has missed. Oladipo is averaging 16.8 points and 7.3 assists as a starter in Nelson’s absence.
Other than Robin Lopez (20 points and 13 rebounds), no one got rolling for the Blazers as they lost for the eighth time in their last 11 games.
The Magic had gone only 3-14 since the All-Star break, with two of their victories coming over the woeful Sixers and the other requiring two overtimes against the New York Knicks. Their record against Western Conference teams this season was 4-24.
With their 20th victory, the Magic have equaled their total from last season with 10 games remaining.
THE TURNING POINT
The Magic outscored the Blazers 11-2 over the final 3:06 of the third quarter to extend their lead to 79-65. Harris made a 3-pointer and two free throws during the run.
THE DIFFERENCE MAKER
Vucevic had his highest scoring output since putting up 30 points Nov. 6 in a victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.
STAT OF THE GAME
The Blazers scored 20 points in the paint in the first quarter but only 24 more over the final three quarters.
Friday night vs. Charlotte, 7 p.m. (FOX Sports Florida).