Magic musings: Orlando wraps up rocky road trip with win
The Orlando Magic aren’t coming home empty-handed from their longest road trip since 1997.
Getting at least 10 points from seven different players, including Nikola Vucevic in his first action in more than a week, the Magic snapped a six-game losing streak with a 92-83 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats. Glen Davis finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds, while Jameer Nelson scored all 17 of his points in the second half.
Even with an uncharacteristic 6-for-18 shooting performance by Arron Afflalo, the Magic had more than enough to salvage something from a trip which had also taken them to Washington, Philadelphia, New York, Houston and Memphis.
Vucevic had 12 points and 11 rebounds by halftime. The Magic had been outrebounded by a wide margin in all four of the games their usual starting center had missed because of a sprained left ankle.
The Magic had no 3-point field goals in the first half for the second game in a row. But they made up for that over the final two quarters by going 7 of 11 from that distance.
Neither team led by more than seven until Nelson’s 3-pointer put the Magic up 72-64 early in the fourth quarter.
The first meeting in the NBA of rookies Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller, who were college teammates at Indiana, ended up a draw. Both players finished with 10 points.
The turning point
Davis knocked down a jump shot with less than a second to go before halftime to give the Magic a 43-42 lead. They never trailed again, although the Bobcats tied it up on several occasions.
The difference maker
Although he didn’t score in the second half, Vucevic was the main reason why the Magic outrebounded the Bobcats 52-41. The last time they had finished with an advantage in that department was their most recent victory, a 105-94 decision over the Philadelphia 76ers on Nov. 27.
Stat of the game
Kemba Walker, who was averaging almost 29 points in the Bobcats’ last four meetings with the Magic, didn’t score until three minutes into the third quarter. He finished with 10 points on 4-for-18 shooting.
Friday night vs. Cleveland, 7 p.m. (FOX Sports Florida).