Magic Musings: Orlando’s latest loss features familiar shortcomings
ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orlando Magic went into Thursday night not having lost at home to the Milwaukee Bucks since Dec. 29, 2004, a winning streak covering 17 games.
That ended with a resounding thud as the Bucks, one of the NBA’s most surprising teams this season, led from start to finish in a 115-100 win over the Magic, who dropped their seventh game in a row.
More than a smattering of boos could be heard during a third quarter that ended with the Bucks up 96-71. Even missing two of their usual starters — forward Ersan Ilyasova (sore groin) and onetime Magic center Zaza Pachulia (right calf strain) — the Bucks were the more aggressive team by far in picking up where they left off Tuesday in their 109-102 victory at Miami.
The Magic got 21 points from Victor Oladipo and 17 points and 14 rebounds from Nikola Vucevic, who was not among the Eastern Conference reserves named earlier in the evening for the All-Star Game on Feb. 15. Vucevic was pulled with 6:50 remaining and the Magic down 26.
As was the case Monday night at Memphis, the Magic had more turnovers (24) than assists (14).
The Magic have allowed at least 100 points in 11 consecutive games, their longest such streak since 1992.
THE TURNING POINT
The Magic made only four of their first 16 shots and were already down by 12 points a little more than nine minutes into the first quarter. The Bucks stretched their lead to as many as 20 in the second quarter and 29 in the third.
THE DIFFERENCE MAKER
On a team that places a high priority on balance, singling out a particular member of the Bucks isn’t easy. But it’s hard to overlook the 13 points Jerryd Bayless scored off the bench in the second quarter. He finished with 19 points and three of the Bucks’ 16 steals.
STAT OF THE GAME
The 34 points that the Bucks scored off turnovers were a season high for a Magic opponent. The New Orleans Pelicans had 27 in the season opener Oct. 28.
Saturday night vs. Dallas, 7 p.m.