Usually when two NBA teams make league history, it's a good thing. On Saturday night in Orlando, however, the exact opposite happened.
The Orlando Magic and New York Knicks threw up shot after shot, seeing almost every single one fall off the rim one way or another. The eight points by the Knicks, coupled with the seven from the Magic, helped the two conference foes set the NBA record for fewest points in a single quarter, breaking the previous mark of 18 being done three times by Fort Wayne and Syracuse in November of 1956, Boston and Toronto in January of 2001, and Detroit and Utah in March of 2005.
On top of setting the new NBA record, the Magic's seven points tied their franchise low for a single quarter, done back in 1996 against the Detroit Pistons.
After opening the game with a combined 54 points in the first quarter, the teams' offensive struggles in the second were puzzling. Neither team could seem to get anything going, and had absolutely no flow to their respective offenses whatsoever.
The showing was one that would be expected out of two teams bound for the lottery, but with the Magic's recent play, it's even more strange.
Following the game, Orlando coach James Borrego was clearly disappointed with the outcome, quietly saying, "It's a disappointing effort. It's a disappointing game. It's a learning moment for us all. It's a hurdle we have to get through. And for us to make the next step, we have to learn to win a game like this."
Borrego said that his team will continue to fight, and that he felt as though his team was pretty solid on the defensive end against the Knicks, they just struggled on the offensive end. He was also surprised about his team's mental state coming off a strong game Friday night against the Toronto Raptors.
The game, which seems like an outlier considering the Magic were beginning to surge after winning three of their previous four, including wins over the playoff-bound Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls, is even more odd. It's also problematic for a Magic team desperate to find some sort of momentum heading into what's going to be a crucial offseason for their long-term success.
With two games remaining, the Magic need to have a short memory and make sure that they build on the positives from their play recently in their final two games, both on the road, against the Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets.
Fournier sits out
After missing nearly a month and a half with a hip injury, the Magic got Evan Fournier back in their win against the Bulls on Wednesday. In his return, he played well, scoring 11 points, including a pair of three-pointers. Friday night he looked even better, knocking down three three-pointers en route to 18 points in the team's narrow loss to the Raptors.
Then, Saturday night, he wasn't heard from. Not a single minute played. So why did the Magic's dynamic Sixth Man not play? They wanted to be careful with him.
Due to his long absence and the fact the team was playing on a back-to-back, it seemed like the right time to give Fournier rest and prevent him from aggravating the injury. It's a smart move, as the Magic will need him if they want to find success in their final two games of the season.
However, Fournier's absence from the lineup once again showed just how important he is to the team. Outside of a strong run in the fourth quarter from Willie Green, the Magic's bench struggled mightily to get anything going. Fournier adds a dimension off of it that they so desperately need, and that they really missed against the Knicks on Saturday night.