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Orlando Magic 102 Sacramento Kings 94: Strong second quarter propels Magic past Kings

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The Magic’s second unit gave them a lift on Thursday night, aiding them in their victory.

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Orlando Magic Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

Looking to build off of their win against the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night, the Orlando Magic returned home and welcomed the Sacramento Kings to the Amway Center. The Magic used a strong second quarter to push past the Kings for their second straight win, 102-94.

Opening the game, the Kings hit the Magic with heavy doses of DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay, with the combination scoring the first 24 for the Kings, and making all but two of their field goals. While the Kings shot a scorching 57 percent from the field, the Magic’s defense wasn’t that bad, with Cousins using his size to bully Magic big men. The Magic’s continued lack of space on the offensive end once again caused them problems, with ball handlers having limited space to penetrate the defense and find quality looks. Despite the Kings hot shooting, the Magic found themselves still in the game, only down six, 29-23 after 12 minutes.

As the second unit took the floor, things turned around and quickly for the Magic. Spearheaded by Bismack Biyombo’s high, infectious energy level, the Magic opened the quarter on a quick 10-4 run to tie the game at 33. Biyombo, along with D.J. Augustin and Jeff Green helped get the Magic’s offense on the right track, getting the ball out in transition thanks to heightened play on the defensive end. Thanks to forcing eight turnovers, and knocking down seven second quarter three-pointers, the Magic found themselves up 56-50 at the half.

Out of halftime, the Magic kept the momentum they had built going, pushing their lead above double digits for the first time all season. Evan Fournier began finding his touch shooting the ball, making 5-of-7 from the field, including a pair of three-pointers to scoring 12 points in the quarter. After the two sides combined for six first half free throw attempts, each side made six in the quarter. After three, the Magic’s continued strong periods of play helped them hold their lead at six, up 84-78.

Holding the lead into the fourth, the Magic were looking to keep their momentum going on both ends for their second win of the season. Despite the strong play over the previous two quarters, things began falling apart for the Magic with sloppy play offensively, and an inability to get stops defensively. After an Elfrid Payton turnover allowed the Kings to cut the lead down to two, the Magic dug deep and scored on three of their next four possessions to push the lead back up to eight, one they would not relinquish.

Fournier led the way for the Magic, finishing with 28. Serge Ibaka added 17, with Jeff Green scoring 15 to lead the bench unit. Aaron Gordon dazzled the crowd with two high flying dunks, leading to a 13-point, nine rebound performance. Nikola Vucevic rounded out Magic men in double figures with 10.

Cousins continued his strong early season play, finishing with a game-high 33. Gay cooled off after a strong first, finishing the night with 16. Ty Lawson and Ben McLemore each added 11, with Omri Casspi finishing the night with 12.