Magic Musings: Cold night from floor leaves Orlando with loss in Washington
Playing for the third time in four nights and forced to make do without Tobias Harris, the Orlando Magic never got into much of a rhythm on offense Monday night and lost 96-80 to the Washington Wizards.
The Wizards held the Magic to their second-lowest scoring output in 55 games while completing a sweep of the four meetings this season. The Magic were held under 100 points in all of those games.
Harris was not available because of a sore right knee. Without him and his 17.4-point scoring average, the Magic shot under 40 percent from the floor even after hitting 11 of 21 shots in the fourth quarter against a lineup largely of the Wizards' reserves.
Nikola Vucevic had only two points in the first half before finishing with 14, and Washington-area native Victor Oladipo missed all six of his 3-point attempts. Evan Fournier had 18 points off the bench to lead the Magic in scoring for the first time since Nov. 21.
Aaron Gordon started at a forward spot in place of Harris and had five points in 17 minutes. Fellow rookie Elfrid Payton ended up with 11 points and a career-high six steals.
The Wizards rolled despite losing forward Kris Humphries to a bruised lower back sustained in a fall after colliding with backup Magic center Dewayne Dedmon during the first quarter.
Since winning at Charlotte and Miami in late December, the Magic have gone 1-9 on the road. Seven of their next eight games are at home.
THE TURNING POINT
The Wizards ran off 14 straight points early in the third quarter to build a 54-37 lead. Garrett Temple, who started in place of the injured Bradley Beal (sore big right toe), hit one of their three 3-pointers during the run.
THE DIFFERENCE MAKER
All-Star guard John Wall had only nine points on 3-of-10 shooting but helped out the Wizards elsewhere with 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Wall was brought back into the game with 4:52 remaining after the Magic cut a 20-point deficit through three quarters to 13.
STAT OF THE GAME
Both teams combined to miss all 18 of their 3-pointers in the first half. The Magic were 0 of 12 until Channing Frye connected almost halfway through the third quarter.
Wednesday night vs. New York, 7 p.m.