Magic Musings: Orlando pulls away late to grab road victory
The Orlando Magic are making the best of a rough hand dealt them by the NBA’s schedule-makers.
After posting only four road victories all last season, the Magic won away from home for the third time in eight tries Monday night as they pulled away in the fourth quarter to defeat the Detroit Pistons 107-93.
Nikola Vucevic had 25 points and 14 rebounds as the Magic placed all five starters in double figures for the second game in a row. Unlike Saturday night at Washington, however, they shot better than 50 percent from the floor to more than make up for having fewer free throws and rebounds than the Pistons.
OK, so the three teams they’ve beaten on the road — the Pistons, the New York Knicks and the Philadelphia 76ers — hardly constitute a murderer’s row. But those victories in less than a two-week span represent a significant accomplishment for a team that won just once away from home last season after December. The eight road games the Magic have played are the most of any team thus far.
They trailed 52-49 at halftime, and Channing Frye had no points or rebounds to go with three fouls. But he knocked down two 3-pointers as part of a 15-3 run to begin the third quarter.
The Magic also got 21 points from their bench in their first game since losing rookie Aaron Gordon with a fractured bone in his left foot. Maurice Harkless played 19 minutes after getting for a total of only six minutes the previous three games.
THE TURNING POINT
Up only 88-87 after the Pistons scored seven straight points, the Magic went on a 13-3 run over the next four minutes that included two 3-pointers by Evan Fournier and one by Frye.
THE DIFFERENCE MAKER
Tobias Harris scored 14 of his 24 points in the final 12 minutes.
STAT OF THE GAME
Already shooting 40.4 percent from 3-point range going into the game, the Magic went 13 of 26 from that distance. Their season high in 3-pointers made had been 12 against the Toronto Raptors.
Wednesday night vs. Los Angeles Clippers, 7 p.m.