Looking to push their record over the .500 mark for the first time since November 6th, 2013, the Orlando Magic played host to the Sacramento Kings in a late afternoon contest. The Magic once again were lifeless, getting run out of their own building int he second half, falling to the Kings 97-91.
The early start didn't seem to do the Magic any favors, with the hosts coming out flat, struggling to get the ball in the basket consistently. The Magic also struggled taking care of the ball against the crisp Kings defense, turning the rock over six times, leading to seven points for the visitors. Sacramento was able to pick apart the Magic's defense throughout stretches, thanks in large part to Rajon Rondo's penetration.
Still looking for life, things weren't a lot better for the Magic in the second quarter, with the team struggling to string together stops, and consistent, smart offensive possessions. Orlando continued to struggle defending without fouling, sending the Kings to the line nine times in the quarter, and 17 times for the first half. Looking for a boost of energy, coach Scott Skiles once again dug deep, going to Andrew Nicholson for much of the second quarter. While Nicholson gave the team some okay minutes, his impact was minimal, with the Magic falling behind by as many as nine, before cutting the Kings lead down to six heading into halftime.
After coming out of halftime with a higher energy level, rallying to take the lead, the wheels fell off for the Magic. After going up 61-65, the Magic went cold, making just one shot the remainder of the quarter, while the Kings feasted, going on a 22-2 run to take a commanding lead. Sacramento dominated the Magic in points in the paint (18-8) and fast break points (9-0), both areas where the Magic had success in the first half.
Down 16 heading into the final quarter, things were looking bleak for the Magic. Despite a run that saw them cut the lead down to seven around the midway point of the quarter, the Magic couldn't get it any lower, falling apart after an offensive foul on Evan Fournier, and a subsequent technical on the Frenchman. Sacramento pushed the lead back out to double digits, and never looked back.
DeMarcus Cousins led all scorers, finishing with 29 points and 12 rebounds. Rajon Rondo and Marco Belinelli each added 13 for the Kings. Kosta Koufos scored 12 off the bench, with Omri Casspi rounding out Kings in double figures with 11.
Tobias Harris' 24 led the way for the lifeless Magic. Fournier finished the night with 17, with Nikola Vucevic and Victor Oladipo each adding 11 on the night.