Magic Musings: Orlando turns it on against Brooklyn
ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orlando Magic, who went 0-4 against the Brooklyn Nets last season, used their youth and athleticism to full advantage in the second half to pull away to a 107-86 victory.
Both Nikola Vucevic and rookie Victor Oladipo finished with 19 points as the Magic improved their record to 2-2. As was the case Friday night when they defeated the New Orleans Pelicans, they held their opponent to under 40 percent shooting.
Largely on the strength of Oladipo, the No. 2 pick in this year’s draft, and forward Andrew Nicholson, their first-round pick of a year ago, the Magic finished with a 45-30 advantage in scoring off the bench.
The Magic led 41-38 at halftime as Vucevic had 13 points and seven rebounds. The Magic made more of an effort to get the ball inside than the Nets, who often settled for jump shots and struggled from beyond the perimeter.
Oladipo gave the Magic a huge spark over the final 4:47 of the third quarter. His eight points during that stretch included a dazzling spin move past Andray Blatche, and his no-look pass led to a dunk by Vucevic.
Nicholson’s jump shot as the horn sounded gave the Magic a 74-59 lead going into the fourth quarter.
It was officially the regular-season coaching debut of Jason Kidd. He was suspended by the NBA for the Nets’ first two games after pleading guilty to a charge of drunken driving.
The turning point
With the help of a pair of 3-point field goals from Maurice Harkless and fast-break layups by Arron Afflalo and Jameer Nelson, the Magic began the third quarter on a 17-4 run to take a 58-42 lead. Neither team had been ahead by more than five points in the first half.
The difference maker
Vucevic had a double-double midway through the third quarter and did not show any hesitation whether it was Brook Lopez, Kevin Garnett or Andrei Kirilenko who was guarding him.
Stat of the night
After going 8 of 16 from 3-point range in defeating the Miami Heat, the Nets missed 10 of their first 11 attempts from that distance.
Wednesday night vs. Los Angeles Clippers, 7 p.m. (FOX Sports Florida).