The Orlando Magic battled back from a miserable, 34-point first half against the Sacramento Kings on Friday night, only to fall short in the fourth quarter as they were unable to stop the Kings' three-guard attack. Second-year point guards Isaiah Thomas and Jimmer Fredette combined for 22 of Sacramento's 29 points in the fourth and excelled in the open floor, helping the Kings erase a Magic lead which had reached five points. Kings coach Keith Smart paired those two with shooting guard Marcus Thornton, giving his team a small, speedy lineup the Magic were unable to counter.
Sacramento took the lead for good on a fast-break three-pointer by Fredette and held the Magic at bay by keeping them off the offensive glass. Orlando grabbed just two offensive boards in 16 opportunities in the fourth period. In addition to the open-floor speed of Fredette and Thomas, the combination of poor field-goal shooting (29.2 percent), few second-chance opportunities, and few Kings miscues (three Sacramento turnovers) in the fourth period prevented the Magic from recovering.
That Orlando even made the game slightly competitive is remarkable, considering that it didn't hit a jump shot until the opening minute of the third quarter. In the first half, 13 of Orlando's 14 baskets came in the painted area, with the lone shot outside the paint coming from the right baseline approximately eight feet away.
The Magic went on a 16-0 run in a four-minute span in the third quarter to fight their way back into the game. Jameer Nelson and Arron Afflalo keyed the run, with Afflalo scoring seven points and Nelson dishing two assists.
Glen Davis scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Magic, recording his third double-double in four games on this Western trip. He fouled out with 38 seconds to play as Orlando attempted to prolong the game by sending the Kings to the foul line.
Orlando's roadtrip concludes Sunday against the Phoenix Suns.