Looking to end 2015 on a high note, the Orlando Magic welcomed the lowly Brooklyn Nets to the Amway Center for their second meeting of the season. It wasn't pretty for the Magic for the entire game, but they found a way to claw one out late, making one more play than the Nets in a 100-93 win.
Early on the Magic struggled with a low energy level, causing sloppy play on both ends. Their early poor play forced coach Scott Skiles to turn to his bench to try and find a boost, which he found in Shabazz Napier and Andrew Nicholson. The duo combined for 11 first quarter points, and kept the Magic afloat through their continued struggles on the defensive end. Despite some better play on the offensive end as the quarter wound on, their issues on the defensive end proved to be too much, with the two teams finding themselves tied at 26 after one.
Still desperately searching for an energy boost, the Magic went even deeper on their bench, calling in Dewayne Dedmon, who has seen his playing time cut in recent weeks. However, nothing seemed to help the Magic, who continued to get outplayed by visiting Nets. Their defense was unable to string together consistent stops, while the offense continued to struggle to knock down shots or move the ball at a high level. After getting dominated the entire quarter, the Magic found themselves down by seven, 52-45 at the half.
Out of halftime, the Magic continued to struggle some, giving up easy looks to the Nets early on. However, once Victor Oladipo checked in, things began to turn some for the hosts. Oladipo gave the Magic a spark on the defensive end, helping the team turn the Nets over six times in the quarter, leading to seven points. They also notched their first fastbreak points since Saturday night's loss to the Miami Heat, thanks in large part to their heightened play on the defensive end. Despite their improvements, however, the Magic found themselves down five, 73-68 heading into the fourth.
With a chance to win the game there for the taking, the Magic came out firing early in the fourth. Behind buckets from Jason Smith and Evan Fournier, the Magic found themselves with their first lead since early in the game. The two sides went back and forth for much of the remainder of the quarter, however, with neither able to take more than a two point lead in the first half of the quarter.
After taking a four point lead on a layup from Oladipo to beat the shot clock, the Nets scored the next seven to take a three point lead. Trading baskets, things were looking bleak for the Magic, before a Nikola Vucevic put back, followed by a strong cut and finish from Tobias Harris gave the Magic a one point lead. After a Nets miss, Oladipo was fouled, subsequently knocking down the pair to put the Magic up three.
Vucevic's streak of 20-point games continued late, with the man in the middle finishing with a team-high 20 on the night. Fournier, who struggled with his shot much of the night, finished with 17. Harris and Oladipo each finished with 12 on the night. Aaron Gordon scored 10 off the bench to round out Magic men in double figures.
Brook Lopez led all scorers on the night, finishing with 24 points and 15 rebounds. Bojan Bogdanovic scored 20 for the eighth time in his career, third against the Magic, while Thaddeus Young finished the night with 16.