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Magic vs. Kings notebook: "Wildcard" Kings blitz Magic

The Orlando Magic's poor transition and pick-and-roll defense prevented them from even having a good game when they faced the Sacramento Kings at home on Wednesday night.

Maurice Harkless and John Salmons
Maurice Harkless and John Salmons

Jacque Vaughn's take on the loss.

With six games in nine nights, fatigue has been the story for the Orlando Magic.

On Wednesday night, the Sacramento Kings came in and pulverized the Orlando Magic at home, 125-101, with a high-octane offense.

Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn thought the team's transition defense was the pitfall for their loss on Wednesday night.

"It was going to boil down to our ability to contain penetration and keep the ball in front of us, which was a tough task for us tonight and so was our transition defense," Vaughn said. "I think those were the two areas that caused us the most problems. Six games in nine nights is part of the NBA, and we talked about that in the locker room."

Sacramento manhandled Orlando on the break with 25 points coupled with 56 points in the paint.

I asked coach Vaughn about his message to the team in the first half after they allowed the Kings to score a season-high 67 points.

"We watched a few clips at halftime and a few edits from the first half and took a look at just overall," Vaughn said. "Were we moving as fast as we did [Tuesday] night [against the Philadelphia 76ers]? Were we communicating as much as we did in Philadelphia? So that was just kind of the message at halftime. We played five or six clips and then let the guys watch and assess it themselves."

Tobias Harris gives a glimpse of his potential.

The Tennessee product has displayed what he could potentially contribute to the Magic.

"I think it's been a lot easier than I thought it was going to be just because of the coaching staff and players." Harris said. "They're really embracing us as new guys coming in. I've played with Beno [Udrih] so he knows where I like my spots on the floor. But it's been a good experience for me just playing these three games with these guys and just learning from them."

Harris hardly scratched the rotation in his year-plus with the Milwaukee Bucks. He averaged about 11 minutes of playing time while he was there.

But it's a stark contrast for him now that he's in Orlando. In the three games Harris has played in a Magic uniform, he has averaged 29 minutes off the bench. Under Vaughn's wing, the sophomore is shooting 68 percent from the field and scoring 17.6 points per game. Though Harris' stats represent a small sample size, there is a pretty good chance coach Vaughn will give him more leeway to play to his potential.

Beno Udrih shares his thoughts on Harris's potential, too.

"He's really talented, showed a lot of potential in Milwaukee, he didn't get a chance." Udrih said. "Now he's playing, he's playing hard. In Milwaukee, they put him more in a small forward when in college, he was playing power forward. Here he gets minutes at both positions. He's a great player, has a lot of potential, and will be a great player in this league. Hopefully, I believe he's going to keep improving. So let's see what happens, he's got to keep working hard, and he's doing what he's supposed to do."

Buzz about John Salmons posterizing rookie Andrew Nicholson

Oh, goodness. If you're a Magic fan who missed this play, well, it's probably good you missed it.

"It might have been two to three years since I last did that (to posterize an opponent)." Salmons said. "It was fun and that is what is about is having fun. I am glad I was able to do it."

Kings teammate DeMarcus Cousins offered this take on Salmons' slam.

"I have never seen John dunk on anybody." Cousins said. "That surprised a lot of us."

Honoring teachers

The Magic partnered with Dixon Ticonderoga to honor six teachers and principals during a halftime ceremony on Wednesday, which the team dubbed Teacher/Principal Appreciation Night. The educators represented Orange, Seminole, and Osceola counties.

As an organization, Orlando has identified promoting literacy and education as one of its three off-the-court areas of focus.

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