On Friday against the Timberwolves, the Magic defense failed the Magic offense. On Sunday against the Clippers, the Magic offense failed the Magic defense.
And it resulted in yet another blown double-digit lead as the Magic lost,106-96, in Los Angeles, falling to the Clippers for the 11th straight time.
Counting the number of blown double-digit leads by the Orlando Magic this season.... pic.twitter.com/NdihJyhAw9— Orlando Pinstriped Post (@OPPMagicBlog) January 6, 2019
For the second straight game, the Magic jumped out to an early lead. They took a 22-12 advantage when Terrence Ross knocked down a three with 2:49 remaining in the first. The lead reached double figures at the end of the first after Mo Bamba’s offensive rebound and putback jam put Orlando up 28-18. The Magic, who got 11 points off the bench in the first, shot 48.1 percent from the field while holding the Clippers to 26.9 percent.
After a three by Aaron Gordon, and lay-in plus the foul by Bamba (missed free throw), the Magic lead grew to 15 at 35-20 with 9:38 to go in the half. But the Clippers chipped away at the deficit, just as the Magic allowed the Timberwolves to do on Friday when they surrendered a 19-point first half lead. Tobias Harris, held scoreless in the first quarter on 0-for-6 shooting, scored 10 points during a 13-4 run that brought the Clippers within 39-33.
The Clippers pulled to within one after a three by Danillo Gallinari, all but erasing the Magic’s 15-point lead in about six minutes of game time. Still, the Magic led the entire first half, with both teams shooting 39 percent, and went into the locker room with a 47-45 lead.
Vucevic was in triple-double alert in the first half with 10 points, 14 rebounds and six assists, including this feed to AG...
The Clippers took their first lead of the game early in the third quarter as part of a 12-2 run that gave them a 57-49 advantage. The lead reached 10 minutes later following a lay-in by Gallinari.
So again, the Magic went from protecting a double-digit lead to trying to come back from one.
A 6-0 Magic run, capped by a Wes Iwundu jumper, pulled the Magic within one at 68-67. They entered the fourth trailing 70-67.
After Terrence Ross was fouled on a three-point attempt, he hit all three free throws to even the score at 72. The Clippers responded with a 9-0 run, the worst of which was when the Magic were unable to corral the rebound off a free throw attempt, allowing the ball to go out of bounds, which then led to a Lou Williams three.
Williams, who scored 12 of his 17 points in the fourth, drained another three midway through the fourth that opened an 89-74 lead that would soon reach as many as 18.
Harris finished with a game-high 28 points on 10 of 21 shooting and had nine rebounds. Marcin Gortat added eight points, 10 rebounds and six assists as the Clippers improved to 23-16.
The Magic played admirably defensively, limiting a team that entered with the league’s sixth best offensive rating at 113.6 points per to 43 percent shooting. But still, the Magic offense couldn’t keep pace after the first quarter, as they finished with a shooting percentage of just 37.1% (9 of 31 from three, 29.0 percent) and failed to reach 100 points for the first time in eight games.
Vucevic finished with 16 points a season-high 24 rebounds (the eighth 20+ rebound game of his career), eight assists and two blocks. Vooch also passed Hedo Turkoglu for sixth place on the Magic’s all-time scoring list...
Congrats to my brother— Hidayet Türkoğlu (@hidoturkoglu15) January 6, 2019
Vucevic’s back-up, Mo Bamba did most of his damage in the first-half, recorded all eight of his points and grabbing eight of his 10 rebounds before halftime. Gordon had 17 points on 5-for-17 shooting. D.J. Augustin and Evan Fournier each added 12 points.
Jonathan Isaac was non-existent and looked timid on offense, passing up open looks. He finished with two points on 1-for-7 shooting (0-for-4 from three) and one rebound in 26 minutes for a team worst +/- of -17.
The Magic (17-22), now 1-3 on their six-game road trip, get little time to rest as they head to Sacramento to complete a back-to-back on Monday.