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Balanced effort helps Magic rally against Milwaukee, 97-90

The Magic rallied thanks to big buckets from a couple of their key young pieces.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Following a victory in Minnesota on Friday night, the Orlando Magic returned to action on Saturday night in Milwaukee to take on the playoff-bound Bucks. The Magic trailed for much of the game, but rallied late thanks to big buckets from Victor Oladipo and Tobias Harris, winning 97-90.

Early on, Milwaukee's length appeared to be bothering the Magic. The Bucks got after the Magic on the defensive end, holding the Magic to 8-of-21 shooting, while forcing three turnovers. Milwaukee also had success because of their length on the glass, holding a 19-to-13 advantage, including 8-to-2 on the offensive glass. Off of those eight offensive boards, the Bucks scored nine points to the Magic's three. Ersan Ilyasova did much of the damage early for the hosts, scoring 11 in the opening quarter. The Bucks also got 14 points off their bench, seven of which came from O.J. Mayo. Nikola Vucevic picked up where he left off on Friday night, scoring eight to lead the Magic.

After a sluggish first quarter, the Magic slowly began to find their rhythm with their second unit in the game. Aaron Gordon once again brought the team good energy, grabbing five rebounds and blocking two shots in his stint across the end of the first quarter and midway into the second. The visitors also did a much better job on the glass, holding the Bucks to just nine rebounds in the quarter, including two on the offensive end. Willie Green and Tobias Harris did much of the damage for the Magic in the quarter, getting out and pushing the pace en route to 21 combined points, while pushing the Magic's fastbreak point total for the game up to 13. Ilyasova continued to lead the Bucks with 15, with Harris' 12 leading the Magic at the half.

Out of halftime, Orlando's starters began to finally settle in, despite a rough start to the quarter. Early on, the Magic's starting five went 1-of-5 from the field, but were luckily matched by equally poor shooting from the Bucks. As the quarter wore on, the Magic began to find some easy, high percentage looks, allowing them to keep it close with the host Bucks. The Magic also looked better on the defensive end, blocking five shots an forcing five turnovers in the quarter, frustrating the Bucks on their offensive end. Ilyasova and Harris each finished the quarter with 18 to lead their respective teams.

Looking to record their second straight road win, the Magic trailed the Bucks by one heading into the fourth quarter. After grabbing a lead early in the quarter, the Bucks slowly cut took the lead back, pushing it up to four with three and a half minutes to go. After Victor Oladipo tied the game with a baseline jumper, Harris knocked down a three to give the Magic a three point lead with just over two minutes remaining. A bucket by Michael Carter-Williams was answered by yet another three, this time by Oladipo, giving the Magic a four pint lead with the game nearing a minute to play. Oladipo made another big bucket, putting the Magic up six with 45 seconds to play.

Six Magic players finished in double figures, led by Harris' 23 point, 10 rebound double-double. Vucevic backed up his career-high 37 with 20, with Oladipo adding 15, despite struggling from the floor once again. Elfrid Payton notched his 10th double-double of his rookie season, finishing with 10 points and 11 assists. Fellow rookie Aaron Gordon gave the Magic a great spark off the bench, finishing with his first career double-double with 10 points and a season high 12 rebounds. Willie Green also finished with 10 off the Magic bench.

Ilaysova led the way for the Bucks with 18 on the night. Khris Middleton finished with 15, with Mayo adding 14 off the bench. John Henson added 10 points and eight rebounds off the bench for the hosts.