Following a better overall performance against the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night, the Orlando Magic returned to action in their final game before their West Coast road trip against the Phoenix Suns. After a decent first half, the Magic crumbled in the second, getting blown out by the lowly Suns, 102-84.
The Magic once again got off to a good start on the offensive end, thanks to strong play from Elfrid Payton. The second-year point guard scored 11 points and dished out four assists in the quarter, while having active hands on the defensive end against a hot-shooting Suns bunch. Despite their strong play offensively, the Magic's inability to stop the Suns, especially their starting front court, slowed the Magic against the struggling Suns. After 12 minutes, the two sides found themselves tied up at 29.
Locked in yet another high scoring affair, the Magic began to see their continued struggles on the defensive end cost them in the second quarter. Possession after possession, the Suns turned to big man Alex Len, who continued his domination of counter part Nikola Vucevic, pushing his total for the half to a game-high 18. While Vucevic himself led the Magic. his continued shooting and unwillingness to pass bogged down the Magic's already stagnant offense. After one half, the Magic found themselves down 58-50 against the reeling Suns.
Out of halftime, the bus broke down and left the Magic stranded in the middle of nowhere. As has been the case many times prior this season, the Magic came out flat in the third quarter, playing selfish, sloppy basketball for the entire quarter. Looking for a boost, Scott Skiles turned to his bench, but was not rewarded, with the Suns pushing their lead to as many as 24 thanks to Orlando's inability to score. Phoenix scored one less point from the free throw line (15) than the Magic did in total (16) allowing them to take a commanding 84-66 lead after three.
After cutting the Suns lead down to 13 early in the quarter, things appeared to be turning around some for the lifeless Magic. Phoenix answered, however, pushing their lead back up to 18, ending any momentum the Magic were slowly beginning to build. With shots still not falling for their suddenly struggling offense, the Magic rolled over, allowing the Suns to take home the easy victory.
Len led the way for the Suns, finishing with a game, and career-high 31 points to go along with 15 rebounds. Sharp shooting rookie Devin Booker and former Magic point guard Ronnie Price each added 14. Tyson Chandler and Archie Goodwin rounded out Suns in double figures with 10 apiece.
After his hot start, Elfrid Payton cooled off, finishing with 19 points and 11 assists. Vucevic added 15 points and 12 rebounds on the night. Mario Hezonja and Evan Fournier each finished with 12.