A pair of Terrence Ross three-pointers over the game’s final 80 seconds was the difference on Tuesday night as the Orlando Magic ran their winning streak to three with a 120-115 win over the Memphis Grizzlies at FedEx Forum.
Orlando (30-35) scored 70 points in the second half and needed every one of them. The Magic had turned a 13-point halftime deficit into a nine-point fourth quarter lead. That was until a four-point play by Memphis’ Dillon Brooks ignited an 11-2 run that drew the Grizzlies even at 112 with less than two minutes to play.
The Grizzlies (32-33) tied the contest on a floater by Ja Morant. Morant had a chance to give Memphis the lead on the ensuing possession, but missed a runner and Orlando’s Michael Carter-Williams secured the rebound.
Morant slipped after missing the shot and the Magic pushed the ball down the floor. Markelle Fultz was able to find Ross wide open in the left corner for the trey that put Orlando ahead for good. Morant was called for a charge on the ensuing possession and Ross was able to double the Magic lead with a three from the top of the key to push the lead to 118-112 with 44 seconds remaining.
Tyus Jones cut the lead in half for the Grizzlies after being fouled on a three-point attempt and knocking down all three foul shots. After a Ross miss, Jones had an open look from deep that would have tied the game, but it came up short with two seconds remaining. Aaron Gordon grabbed the rebound for Orlando to essentially seal the victory.
The Magic trailed by as many as 17 in the first half and 63-50 at the break before taking their first lead on a D.J. Augustin free throw with less than 35 seconds to play in the third quarter. Memphis led 86-85 entering the final period. The fourth quarter saw two ties and three lead changes.
The win for Orlando was its third straight — all on the road and all without second-leading scorer Evan Fournier. Ross led the Magic with 24 points, including 18 in the second half. Carter-Williams added 20 points on an efficient 6-for-9 shooting for an Orlando bench that finished the night with 65 points.
Center Nikola Vucevic led all Magic starters with 19 points and 11 rebounds. The Orlando point guards, Augustin and Fultz, tallied 16 and 14 points, respectively.
The victory for the Magic comes despite allowing the Grizzlies to shoot 50 percent from the field and get to free throw line 38 times. Memphis did commit 20 turnovers in the loss.
Throughout the night, Orlando had no answer for Memphis center Jonas Valanciunas. Valanciunas finished with 27 points on 9-for-10 from the field to go with a game-high 16 rebounds. Morant and Brooks each tallied 21 points on 7-for-16 shooting in the loss.
With the win, Orlando temporarily moves into a tie for the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference with the Brooklyn Nets. Brooklyn tipped off late Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center. Memphis continues to have a healthy advantage for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.
The Magic are now 8-4 in their last 12 games and will try to equal their longest winning streak of the season when they host the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night. Memphis begins an important three-game road trip on Thursday night in Portland.