Monta Ellis and Nik Vučević - Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Monta Ellis scored 25 of his game-high 39 points in the fourth quarter to lead Milwaukee to a stunning 115-109 victory after trailing by twelve points with under seven minutes remaining.
With 6:45 remaining in the game, the Magic were in complete control with a 97-85 lead after an Arron Afflalo layup. Monta Ellis then went on an incredible scoring barrage, scoring 19 points, including 5-of-5 on 3-pointers, to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a dramatic 115-109 come-from-behind victory over the Orlando Magic.
Ellis scored 25 of his game-high 39 points in the fourth quarter, shooting 8-of-10 from the field, 5-of-5 from long range, and 4-of-4 on free throws in the quarter. The Magic defense didn't matter, as Ellis' quick release found the bottom of the net on nearly every shot.
It was a disastrous fourth quarter for Orlando, with Milwaukee outscoring the Magic, 45-28. Led by Ellis, the Bucks shot a blistering 15-for-23 (65 percent) for the quarter, including making all ten free throws. The Magic shot a decent 12-of-22 (54.5 percent) in the final period, but were only 1-for-5 on threes and 3-for-5 on free throws, and missed their final four shots from the field.
All five Magic starters scored in double figures, with three of the starters scoring at least 20 points. Afflalo led Orlando with 24 points, center Nik Vucevic added a double-double of 20 points and 15 rebounds, and rookie Maurice Harkless contributed a career-high of 23 points along with nine rebounds, two steals, and two blocks.
Former Magic sharpshooter J.J. Redick was not a factor in the game, as he finished with just 4 points on 1-of-5 shooting, and missing all four 3-pointers he attempted. He did make two free throws near the end of the game for the final margin of victory for the Bucks.
Both teams came into the game shorthanded, with Milwaukee missing key defender Luc Mbah a Moute and Orlando without 2012 first-round draft pick Andrew Nicholson.
Orlando got off to a slow start in the game, scoring just two points in the first four minutes in falling behind 7-2. The Magic then heated up, making 10 of their next 16 shots and outscoring Milwaukee, 23-9, while taking a 25-16 lead before settling for a 25-18 lead after one quarter. The Bucks shot an ice-cold 26 percent in the opening frame, while the Magic shot 46 percent with Afflalo scoring 10 points.
The Magic maintained their lead in the second quarter as Harkless scored 11 of his 17 first-half points to up the Orlando lead to 54-44 at the half. The Magic shot 50 percent for the half compared to just 30 percent for Milwaukee. Forward Ersan Ilyasova led the Bucks with nine first-half points, while Ellis was just 1-of-6 for six points. Afflalo added 12 first-half points and Vucevic contributed 8 points and 9 rebounds. Tobias Harris committed three personal fouls and was limited to just four first-half points.
Milwaukee briefly closed to within three points with under ten minutes remaining in the third quarter, but Orlando increased their lead to as much as 81-68 after a Harris three-pointer with just over 25 seconds remaining. Ellis made two layups in the final minute to set the stage for his sensational fourth quarter as the Magic led, 81-70, going into the final quarter.
Orlando actually outshot Milwaukee 50.5 percent to 44 percent for the game, but the Bucks outscored the Magic 59-25 on 3-pointers and free throws. The Bucks made 12 threes compared to just five for the Magic, and made 23 free throws compared to ten free throws for Orlando. Orlando soundly outscored Milwaukee, 62-40, in the paint, but the Bucks' prolific second half with 71 points on 59 percent shooting, including 7-of-11 from long range, was more than enough to offset the Magic's advantage in the paint for the game.
In addition to the 39 points from Ellis, Ilyasova added a double-double of 20 points and 11 rebounds, and point guard Brandon Jennings also contributed a double-double of 15 points and 14 assists.
Jameer Nelson contributed 16 points, seven assists, and four steals for the Magic, but shot just 7-of-19. Harris finished with 14 points, eight rebounds, and two blocks despite his first-half foul trouble.