Andrew Nicholson and Emeka Okafor - Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Two days after defeating the NBA's best team on its home floor, the Magic visited the league's worst team and got blown out.
The Washington Wizards ended the Orlando Magic's second long roadtrip of the season in embarrassing fashion on Monday night, picking up a 120-91 win for their third straight triumph. The loss is Orlando's 11th in its last 12, though Glen Davis and E`Twaun Moore returned to the Magic's lineup in Monday's loss, giving the team nearly a full complement of players.
Washington scored 37 points in the third quarter to blow the game open, and then limited the Magic to no field goals for the first five-plus minutes of the fourth quarter to make the game truly embarrassing for the visitors.
Three Washington players tallied season-high scoring efforts: Emeka Okafor had 19, while Jan Veselý, arguably the league's worst overall player, tallied 10 with seven rebounds and a career-high-tying four assists. Point guard A.J. Price had 18 as well.
Washington built a lead that reached 19 points on several occasions in the first half, culminating with an alley-oop dunk from John Wall to Okafor. But behind Jameer Nelson, the Magic battled back, as the veteran point guard accounted for all of Orlando's points as it closed the first half on a 13-0 run.
The most remarkable sequence occurred in the last five seconds of the half. Nelson came off a Nikola Vučević screen and drilled a three-pointer. Washington rolled the ball in to Wall, attempting to keep the clock from running for as long as possible. But Nelson raced in from midcourt and dove on the ball before Wall could recover it. He then stood up and dished to an alert Josh McRoberts under the rim for a dunk as time expired.
Apart from that run, the game was squarely the Wizards' in the first half. Wall's return to the lineup helped their open-court style of play, and the Magic's missed shots only added more gasoline to that fire. Washington finished the half with a 19-1 edge in fast-break points. That advantage, coupled with Arron Afflalo's errant shooting--the veteran two-guard missed all six of his first-half shots--accounted for much of Washington's success.
Afflalo finished with two points on 1-of-11 shooting in 30 minutes.