Magic Musings: Orlando pushes Bulls to limit in triple-overtime loss
ORLANDO, Fla. — You probably had to go back to the days of Penny Hardaway and Nick Anderson for the last time the Orlando Magic got as much production out of their starting backcourt in a single game.
And it still wasn’t enough to snap a losing streak that now stands at nine.
Despite a career-high 35 points from Victor Oladipo and a season-high 31 points from Jameer Nelson, the Magic fell 128-125 in triple overtime to the Chicago Bulls.
Nelson’s step-back jump shot over the reach of 6-foot-11 Joakim Noah with 11.2 seconds to go in regulation tied the score at 101. The Magic led by as many as 15 points in the third quarter but saw that disappear as Noah was a force on the offensive boards while his teammates began to heat up from 3-point range.
The Bulls forced a second overtime when Mike Dunleavy nailed a wide-open 3-pointer off an inbound play. The Magic had the ball for the final 13.4 seconds but couldn’t get a shot off before the horn sounded.
Glen Davis’ game-tying 3 with 4.2 seconds to go sent the Magic into triple overtime for the first time since Feb. 27, 1998 against the Toronto Raptors.
Arron Afflalo missed his third consecutive game with a strained right foot, while Nikola Vucevic (concussion) sat out a fifth game in a row. Despite that, the Magic shot 51.5 percent from the floor against a team which ranks third in the NBA in defensive field-goal percentage.
The game was a complete departure from when the two teams met last month in Chicago and the Magic held on for an 83-82 victory. They had 80 points in this game by the end of the third quarter, but they went scoreless after Oladipo’s reverse layup gave them a 125-122 lead with 2:39 remaining in the third overtime.
THE TURNING POINT
Tony Snell, who was averaging only 5.3 points a game, opened the third overtime with a 3-pointer and put the Bulls ahead to stay with a 17-foot jumper with less than a minute to go.
THE DIFFERENCE MAKER
Oladipo repeatedly got to the basket in going 15 of 24 from the floor with only four attempts from 3-point range. His previous top game came when he scored 26 points in a double-overtime loss Dec. 3 at Philadelphia.
STAT OF THE GAME
Bulls guard Jimmy Butler played 60 of a possible 63 minutes. The previous individual high in the NBA this season was when former Magic forward Ryan Anderson played 57 minutes in a triple-overtime game between the Bulls and the New Orleans Pelicans.
Friday night vs. Charlotte, 7 p.m. (FOX Sports Florida).