Nikola Vucevic was named an All-Star.
That’s the only thing worth remembering about the Orlando Magic on February 23, 2021.
The Magic followed up Vooch’s All-Star announcement with what was perhaps their absolute worst performance of the season as they showed very little signs of life on the offensive end against the Eastern Conference’s worst team, falling to the Pistons, 105-93.
The Magic had no rhythm offensively in the first half, committing nine turnovers that the Pistons converted into 14 points. The Magic shot just 40.5% from the field in the half, with their efficiency from the outside helping to keep them in the game as they converted on 9 of 18 attempts. Terrence Ross led the way with 10 first-half points as the Magic got 27 bench points in the half, helping to cut what was a 15-point Pistons lead in the first quarter to just 53-51 at the half.
The Pistons, who also commit nine turnovers, shot 47.8% in the half. Two-way player Saben Lee came off the bench to score 13 first-half points, connecting on 5 of 6 shot attempts.
It was a dismal third quarter for the Magic as the Pistons rebuilt a double-digit lead. Ball movement was non-existent and the threes stopped dropping for the Magic in the third as they went 0-for-10 from deep in the quarter as they shot 25 percent in the third. The only member of the Magic to score over the final 8:30 of the third other than Vucevic (who had 8 points in that stretch) was Dwayne Bacon, who hit this Tracy McGrady-like reverse layup with 39 seconds left in the quarter....
This very well may be the only Magic highlight from this game and it’s a damn good one... https://t.co/geUJ30s1jI— Orlando Pinstriped Post (@OPPMagicBlog) February 24, 2021
The Magic continued to miss open shots and fell behind by as many as 20 in the fourth quarter of what was a game to forget. Steve Clifford, perhaps as a form of punishment, left his All-Star and the first-unit in until the final buzzer (with Mo Bamba getting a DNP even in an ugly lopsided game).
Vucevic wasn’t in All-Star form as he finished with 20 points and 9 rebounds while shooting 9-for-22 from the field. Evan Fournier and Terrence Ross, who had been thriving offensively along with Vooch in the last two games, also struggled with their shots. Fournier had 14 points on 4-for-14 shooting and Ross finished with 13 on 4-for-12 shooting as the Magic shot just 37.5% overall and allowed 20 points off 12 turnovers.
Lee finished with a game-high 21 points for the Pistons, who shot 46.6% from the field and outscored the Magic 56-36 in the paint.
The loss snaps a three-game winning streak for the Magic, who now head to Brooklyn to take on the Nets on Thursday.