Magic Musings: Orlando comes alive in 4th to down reeling 76ers
ORLANDO, Fla. — For the second time in less than a week, the Orlando Magic struggled against the lowly Philadelphia 76ers before using a fourth-quarter outburst to finally put them away.
The Magic got 31 points from Tobias Harris and 18 points and 17 rebounds from Nikola Vucevic in their 92-81 victory. But it was while those two players, along with Victor Oladipo, were getting a rest to begin the fourth quarter that the Magic went ahead for good and sent the Sixers reeling to their 14th consecutive loss.
Coach Jacque Vaughn began the period with a lineup consisting of Maurice Harkless, E’Twaun Moore, Kyle O’Quinn, Andrew Nicholson and Ronnie Price. With Jameer Nelson out because of a sore calf, Price made his first start all season at point guard.
Nelson had a huge fourth quarter Wednesday night in the Magic’s 101-90 victory at Philadelphia.
In addition to being without Nelson, Arron Afflalo missed his fifth consecutive game. Vaughn said that while the sprained ankle that the team’s top scorer suffered two weeks ago has healed, he was too ill to practice Friday before the Magic traveled to Miami.
The Sixers, whose last victory came Jan. 29 at Boston, gave up 74 points in the first half Saturday night to the Washington Wizards but led the Magic 46-43 at halftime and 69-66 through three quarters. The Magic became the first team to defeat the Sixers during Philadelphia’s current skid despite failing to score at least 100 points.
Thaddeus Young finished with 29 points for the Sixers, but he had only six in the fourth quarter.
THE TURNING POINT
Down 67-58 late in the third quarter, the Magic outscored the 76ers 21-4 over the next seven minutes. Included in the run was their first 3-point basket of the game, courtesy of Harkless.
THE DIFFERENCE MAKER
Harris established a career high in scoring with 31 points. His previous high was 30.
STAT OF THE GAME
Price’s 23 minutes marked the first time he had played since Jan. 31 against Milwaukee. He missed all seven of his shots and did not score.
Wednesday night vs. Houston, 7 p.m. (FOX Sports Florida).