Magic Musings: Orlando caps off home slate with close loss to Knicks
ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Orlando Magic closed out the home portion of their schedule Saturday night by being part of a historically bad second quarter and letting the New York Knicks come away with only their sixth road victory all season.
The Magic managed just one field goal for nearly the first 11 minutes of the second quarter and lost 80-79 to the Knicks, who began the night with the NBA's worst record at 15-64 and had dropped 11 of their last 12 games.
"It's a disappointing effort, a disappointing game," interim coach James Borrego said. "It's a learning moment for us all. It's a hurdle we have to get through. For us to get to the next step, we've got to figure out how to win a game like this."
Down 64-50 early in the fourth quarter, the Magic went on a 19-4 run which included three 3-point field goals by Willie Green. Until then, they had not led since the score was 10-9.
But a 3-point field goal with 12.6 seconds remaining by Tim Hardaway Jr. snapped a 77-77 tie. Victor Oladipo missed two potential game-tying 3s in the closing seconds, the first of which rimmed out.
The Magic finished with a 13-28 record at home. Their final two games are at Miami and Brooklyn.
"It was a shootout tonight, wasn't it? No, just kidding," said Green, whose 11 points all came in the fourth quarter. "Neither team was really scoring. For us, we just tried to focus on the next play and not worry about the fact that we missed shots."
The Magic shot a season-low 35.7 percent against a team which ranked 27th in defensive field-goal percentage.
"We didn't make the shots that we wanted to," said Tobias Harris, the only Magic player to hit as many as half of his shots. "But we have to give the defense credit. Every time we drove to the basket, they had two, three guys there. They were trying to get blocks."
Oladipo led the Magic with 21 points but was 8 of 25 from the floor, including 1 of 8 from 3-point range. Nikola Vucevic had only four points through three quarters but finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds, including a putback of Oladipo's last miss with less than a second to go.
Evan Fournier was held out as a precautionary measure after playing twice in the previous three nights, his first games since a hip injury in late February.
Knicks center Cole Aldrich had 14 of his career-high 19 points and seven of his 14 rebounds in the first quarter. He went into the game averaging only 5.1 points this season.
THE TURNING POINT
The Magic took a 75-73 lead with 1:33 remaining on Elfrid Payton's jump shot, but the Knicks responded with a long 2-pointer and two free throws by Hardaway Jr.
THE DIFFERENCE MAKER
Hardaway Jr. had only six points before scoring seven in the final 1:10, capped by his 3-pointer.
STAT OF THE GAME
The Magic and the Knicks established a dubious record for the fewest combined points in any quarter in the shot-clock era with 15. The old mark of 18 was reached three times, most recently in 2005 by the Detroit Pistons and the Utah Jazz. The Magic's seven points in the second quarter were also a franchise low, breaking the record of eight against the Boston Celtics on Christmas 2009.
Monday night at Miami, 7:30 p.m.