Magic Musings: After 3 strong quarters, Orlando fades against Brooklyn

The shots the Orlando Magic got with relative ease through three quarters Sunday at Brooklyn became much harder to come by in the fourth quarter.

Any chance of putting together a three-game winning streak faded down the stretch as the Nets pulled away to a 104-96 victory.

Nikola Vucevic came within three points of matching his career high in finishing with 27 points, while the Magic also got 19 points from Evan Fournier. But the experience of the veteran-laden Nets was evident, even though they were led in scoring by a rookie – guard Bojan Bogdanovich, who had 22 points.

Magic rookies Elfrid Payton and Aaron Gordon weren’t the sort of factors they were Friday night in an overtime win at home over Minnesota. Coach Jacque Vaughn went with veteran Luke Ridnour at point guard for the better part of the fourth quarter over Payton, who scored only two points and was responsible for five of the Magic’s 17 turnovers. Gordon had two points and two rebounds in 16 minutes.

In addition to Ridnour, the Magic got extended minutes off the bench from another veteran, Willie Green. After playing a total of 13 minutes during the Magic’s 2-4 start, Green was on the floor for 19 minutes and hit four of eight shots.

Aside from Vucevic, who grabbed 12 rebounds, the Magic were beaten soundly on the boards. The Nets ended up with a 45-31 advantage that included 14 offensive rebounds.

The Magic won’t return to Brooklyn again until April 15, the final day of the regular season.

THE TURNING POINT

Magic vs. Nets

After a 3-point field goal by Channing Frye gave them an 89-87 lead with 6:23 remaining, the Magic were outscored 11-1 over the next four minutes.

THE DIFFERENCE MAKER

Deron Williams, coming off a 29-point game against the New York Knicks, finished with 18 points and seven assists with just two turnovers in 41 minutes.

STAT OF THE GAME

Vucevic scored 17 points in the third quarter but none in the fourth.

WHAT’S NEXT

Tuesday night at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.

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