Looking to take care of their home court, the Orlando Magic welcomed the Los Angeles Clippers to the Amway Center on Friday night. The Clippers, off a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night, dominated the Magic, winning by 25, 120-95.
In desperate search of some flow on the offensive end, the Magic came out rolling early, shooting 55 percent from the floor in the opening quarter. Their shot selection, overall, was better than it has been at many points thus far this season, despite taking many of their shots from the low-quality mid-range.
Defensively they were crisp from the start, controlling the Clippers actions, and forcing them into tough shots. Los Angeles shot just 39.1 percent from the field in the opening quarter, as the Magic tied it up late at 22 after one.
Things quickly turned south for the Magic, with shots not falling, and the defense getting picked apart by the Clippers offense. As shots didn’t fall, the Magic began forcing more and more, taking, and missing, eight three-pointers in the quarter.
The bench, which has seemingly given them good minutes all season, struggled with poor energy, and a lack of player and ball movement on offense, as the Clippers stifled any action they attempted. As the Magic’s poor attempts continued to pile up, the Clippers saw shots continue to fall, pushing their lead to 13, 57-44, at the half.
The Magic lost forward Jonathan Isaac to another sprained ankle late in the second quarter, leading to Terrence Ross taking his spot in the lineup out of the halftime break.
Things continued to be a struggle for the Magic early in the half, with the Clippers picking apart their defense, extending their lead to as many as 18. With Wes Iwundu, who was seeing extended minutes for the injured Jonathon Simmons, in the game, the Magic began to pick up the energy on both ends.
As some shots began to fall, the defense found its footing again, making some big plays and giving the listless Magic some energy. Despite the improved play, Los Angeles finished the quarter strong with a pair of three-pointers form Milos Teodosic and Lou Williams, to help extend their lead back to 15, 87-72 after three.
After stealing all the momentum back in the waning moments of the third, the Clippers took full advantage, pushing their lead to 27 with just over six minutes to play, all but ending another lack luster night for the Magic.
The loss was compounded by a strong performance by former Magic man Tobias Harris, who finished the night with 21 for the Clippers. Williams, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year also once again torched the Magic, finishing with a game-high 28, 23 of which came in the second half.