Magic Musings: Orlando stifled in third quarter in loss to Nets
For the second game in a row, the Orlando Magic struggled mightily to score in the third quarter.
They were able to overcome that dry spell against the Boston Celtics. They had no such luck against the Brooklyn Nets, the hottest team in the Eastern Conference.
The Nets rolled to a 101-90 victory Tuesday night in a game where they turned up the heat on the Magic to start the second half. Any hopes the Magic had of sustaining any momentum from snapping a 10-game losing streak ended when they went only 3 of 21 from the floor in a 14-point third quarter.
Arron Afflalo had his lowest-scoring game since the fifth game of the season with only 11 points. Coach Jacque Vaughn gave Afflalo, Glen Davis and Jameer Nelson the fourth quarter off in the first game of a back-to-back.
The Magic shot 50 percent from the floor in the first half but trailed 46-42. Once again, Kyle O’Quinn provided a spark off the bench with five points, three rebounds and two blocked shots. And Maurice Harkless and Andrew Nicholson were used to start the second quarter after both of them did not play Sunday night.
Nikola Vucevic missed his eighth game in a row because of a concussion.
The Nets improved to 8-1 in January and are only two games out of first place in the Atlantic Division despite still being below .500 (18-22).
THE TURNING POINT
The Magic went without a field goal for more than four minutes to begin the third quarter as the Nets outscored them 14-4 to take a double-digit lead for good.
THE DIFFERENCE MAKER
Andray Blatche continued his torrid play off the Nets’ bench with 18 points, including a dunk that’s bound to end up on several highlight shows.
STAT OF THE GAME
None of the two leading scorers for either team were starters. The Nets got 18 points from Blatche and 14 from Mirza Teletovic, while O’Quinn had 15 points and E’Twaun Moore 13 for the Magic.
Wednesday night vs. Atlanta, 7 p.m. (FOX Sports Florida).