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Bucks 110, Magic 103: Poor Second and Third Quarters doom Orlando

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A late rally by the Magic was not enough to snap their now six-game losing streak

NBA: Orlando Magic at Milwaukee Bucks Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Bucks handed the Magic their sixth straight loss, 110-103 Wednesday Night in Milwaukee, wearing down Orlando in the second and third quarters.

All-Star phenom Giannis Antetokounmpo could not be stopped in the contest, he seemingly was able to get in the lane (and to the free-throw line) whenever he wanted. Antetokounmpo presents so many match-up problems, and the Magic were just out-manned against the 23 year-old forward.

Milwaukee’s starting unit displayed incredible balance and efficiency in the game, combining for 91 points on 61% shooting (39-64 from the field). All five starters scored in double figures, led by Antetokounmpo’s 26 points. Forward Khris Middleton added 22 points, and guard Malcolm Brogdon chipped in 14 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists. Center John Henson recorded his fifth double-double of the season, scoring 14 points while pulling down 10 rebounds.

The first quarter was a highly entertaining period if you like offense. Neither team looked very interested in playing defense. In fact, the Magic scored 22 points in the paint in the first quarter alone. Aaron Gordon and Mario Hezonja combined to provide a few highlight dunks in the free-flowing first period. Khris Middleton hit a floater in the lane at the horn, and the Bucks led 30-29 after one quarter (an earlier basket in the quarter by Mario Hezonja was taken away in between periods after the referees determined that Hezonja’s shot came after the shot-clock buzzer sounded).

Things began to go sour for the Magic in the second quarter. The Bucks tightened up their defense, and the Magic began to force some really poor attempts. Orlando stopped sharing the basketball and started settling for quite a few low percentage shots. Milwaukee held Orlando to 17 points in the second quarter and began to stretch out their lead, largely behind the strong second quarter play of Antetokounmpo (8 in the second quarter, 13 points at the half). The Bucks led the Magic 53-46 at the half.

A common theme that has plagued the Magic as of late is playing extremely flat (especially defensively) in the third quarter, and Wednesday night was no different. The Bucks broke the game open in the third, outscoring the Magic 36-23 in the period. Incredibly, the Bucks made 16 of their 20 shot attempts in the third quarter.

Aaron Gordon, who had a really nice first quarter scoring 10 points, only scored one point the entire rest of the game. Gordon had a miserable night, he missed his final 12 field goals attempts in the game (went 0-5 from behind the arc). Gordon wasn’t very good at picking his spots Wednesday night, and really seemed to try and force the issue in his individual 1-on-1 match-up with the All-Star Antetokounmpo.

Milwaukee’s lead over the Magic, which ballooned to 20 at one point, could have been worse. The Bucks turned the ball over 17 times Wednesday night, to go along with nine missed free throws.

In fact, the Magic made a significant late push in the game while the Bucks were resting their starters, led by Shelvin Mack, Wes Iwundu, Hezonja, and Bismack Biyombo. Orlando scored 34 points in the fourth and made the final score end up looking a lot closer than the game really was.

The third leg of Orlando’s road trip will commence Friday night in our nation’s capitol. The Magic will take on the Wizards at 7 PM EST.