Looking to push their record back to the .500 mark, the Orlando Magic welcomed the Milwaukee Bucks into town for a post-Thanksgiving matchup. Despite a slightly rough start, the Magic put in their best performance of the season, dominating the second half against the sluggish Bucks en route to a
Clearly not too tied from all the turkey they inevitably ate on Thursday, the Magic came out strong early, knocking down four three pointers early against a slow Milwaukee defense. Despite knocking down some shots early, the Magic's offense began to bog down, with a lack of movement killing the team once Shabazz Napier entered. On top of their poor offense at the tail end of the quarter, their defense struggled to keep the Bucks out of the paint, giving up 18 of their 22 points in the painted area in the quarter.
In the second, the Magic began hitting on all cylinders, with the offense getting good looks on many possessions, with the defense continually forcing the Bucks into mistakes. In the quarter, Milwaukee turned the ball over six times, leading to 11 points for the Magic, compared to four turnovers, and just two points off for the Bucks. Despite forcing the Bucks into mistakes, the Magic still had issues defending the Bucks inside, with Milwaukee scoring just under half of their points in the quarter in the paint.
Out of halftime, the Magic came out scorching hot, making seven of their first eight shots in the quarter, including five three-pointers. As the quarter wore on, the Magic stayed hot, finishing the quarter 13-of-16 from the field and 6-of-6 from beyond the arc. Their 37 points scored in the quarter were a season high, and marked just the third time since Dwight Howard left that the team had scored 37 points or more in a third quarter.
With a commanding 21 point lead entering the quarter, the Magic quickly pushed their lead up to 29, their largest lead to date this season. Milwaukee made the smallest of runs, cutting the Magic's lead down to 21, but the Magic quickly extinguished any possible Bucks rally, holding on for a convincing victory.
Elfrid Payton quietly put together one of his best games of the season, tying his career-high with 22 points, while adding 10 assists. Tobias Harris scored an efficient 19 points, including four three-pointers, with both Evan Fournier bouncing back from a poor performance Wednesday with 17. Victor Oladipo came off the bench for his second straight strong performance, finishing with 17 points, nine assists and six rebounds.
Three Bucks finished in double figures led by Jerryd Bayless' 17. Giannis Antetokunmpo also added 17, with Khris Middleton finishing the night with 15.