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Bucks 102, Magic 86: Magic move into three-way tie for league’s third worst record

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Despite a strong effort from the Magic through two and a half quarters, the Giannis-less Bucks pulled away

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

The Magic will make their final flight home of the season sharing the third worst record in the NBA.

It didn’t look as if they would for a while, as Orlando played with effort and got production from unexpected places to take a 61-54 lead midway through the third quarter over the Bucks, who were playing without Giannis Antentokounmpo. But the Bucks, playing in the final regular season game at the Bradley Center, closed the third on a 20-6 run to take a 74-67 lead into the fourth, where it would only grow. The lead swelled to 22 points on a bucket by Eric Bledsoe, who in the absence of the Greek Freak delivered a triple-double with 20 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists.

Nikola Vucevic flirted with a triple-double of his own, recording 17 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Bismack Biyombo scored 10 of his 14 points in the first half, where the Magic used a 12-0 run in the second quarter to cut into the Bucks’ double-digit lead. He also had this Shaq-like dunk...

Mario Hezonja and Aaron Gordon each had 12 points. Khem Birch fell one rebound shy of yet another double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds in 16 minutes.

The Magic shot just 41.5 percent from the field, including 5 of 24 from three (20.8 percent). They also committed 19 turnovers, with D.J. Augustin (7 points, 9 assists) forcing seven and Gordon adding six. But they also combined to do this....

Shabazz Muhammad led all scorers with 22 points for the Bucks, who with the win moved into sole possession of the sixth seed in the East, which puts them in line to play the Sixers. Khris Middleton added 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists, including this pretty feed to Jabari Parker for two of his 16 points.....

The Magic (24-57) moved into a three-way tie with Dallas and Atlanta for the third worst record in the league. On Tuesday, the Hawks host the Sixers and the Mavericks host the Suns in the season finale for both teams. The Magic conclude the season on Wednesday when they host the Wizards, who are currently sitting in the eight spot, a half game behind the Heat.

The three teams fighting it out makes for the most intriguing remaining storyline in the Tankathon standings....