Following another late loss on Wednesday night, the Orlando Magic return home to take on the Los Angeles Clippers in game one of a two game home stand. The Magic were unable to hang with the Clippers, dropping their 15th in their last 17 contests, 107-93.
As has been the case for the last month, Orlando's defense was an issue early, losing shooters and struggle to contain the Clippers' dribble penetration. Slowly the Magic began calming down, slowly improving their rotations and coverage, while settling down some on the offensive end. Despite a mini run to cut the Clippers lead down to four, the hosts weren't able to take enough advantage of the Clippers nine turnovers, converting them into just nine points early on. After 12 minutes, the Magic found themselves trailing the red-hot Clippers, 28-20.
After mounting a run to cut the lead down to one early in the quarter, the wheels once again began to fall off for the Magic. Los Angeles promptly answered the Magic's mini run, pushing their lead back up to as many as 16 before the halftime break. While the Clippers continued to have issues with turnovers -- they coughed it up 14 times in the half -- Orlando's inability to get back-to-back stops hampered any hopes they had of taking the lead. At the half, despite their turnover problems, the Clippers appeared on their way to a win, leading 55-44.
Out of halftime, it was like a bad nightmare for the Magic. After cutting the lead down to five early, the Clippers promptly pushed it back out to double digits. The Magic hung tough, however, finally seeing the ball go through the hoop a few times, with the team subsequently turning up the intensity on the defensive side of the ball. Despite some strong defense as the quarter wore on, the Magic still found themselves down four, 77-73, heading into the fourth.
Into the fourth, things completely fell apart for the Magic. Los Angeles jumped on the Magic early and often, keeping their lead around double digits for much of the quarter. For the Magic, it was ultimately a story of same thing just happening on a different night.
Chris Paul led all scorers with 21. J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford each had 20 for the victors. DeAndre Jordan and Paul Pierce rounded out the group, finishing with 12 apiece.
Victor Oladipo led the way for the Magic with 18. Evan Fournier scored 16, with Nikola Vucevic and Tobias Harris adding 13 each.