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5-year Orlandoversary: Aaron Gordon scores career-high 41 as Magic rally past Nets

Brooklyn Nets v Orlando Magic Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

The No. 4 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Aaron Gordon never blossomed into a superstar for the Orlando Magic, but he had a very solid tenure.

On this day five years ago, Gordon had a career-night and the Magic needed it. Gordon scored a career-high 41 points, including the winning three-pointer as Orlando rallied past the Brooklyn Nets, 125-121.

The Orlando Magic were 2-1 as they returned home to the Amway Center on Oct. 24, 2017. Orlando was coming off an impressive win against the reigning champion Cleveland Cavaliers, but for most of the second half, the Nets seemed in control.

The contest was tied at 61 at halftime, but Brooklyn was able to open a 12-point lead by the latter parts of the third quarter. Trailing 96-87 after three, the Magic had a run left in them.

Through three quarters, Gordon had 36 points, but for most of the fourth, the Nets managed to keep him quiet. Instead, it was Jonathon Simmons who scored seven of Orlando’s first 14 points in the quarter. Thanks to a pair of three-pointers from Evan Fournier during an 8-0 run, the Magic would regain the lead with less than four minutes to play.

After back-to-back baskets from Gordon and Nikola Vucevic, the Magic held a 120-116 lead as the clock ticked under a minute and a half. Brooklyn’s DeAngelo Russell was able to draw a foul on Terrence Ross, leading to three free throws. After a basket from DeMarre Carroll, Brooklyn was back in front with just 48 seconds remaining.

Gordon had scored just two points in the quarter, but in need of a clutch basket, that’s where the Magic went. Vucevic was able to draw help as he made his way toward the paint. Gordon popped open for three and Vucevic found him. Gordon’s shot went down as the Magic went ahead for good.

Following a missed three-pointer and turnover from Russell, Fournier knocked down a pair of free throws to cap the scoring with 15 seconds left. Despite three offensive rebounds in the final minute, the Nets missed their final four shots.

Gordon’s 41 points came on an uber-efficient 14-for-18 from the field. Gordon was a perfect 5-for-5 from deep and 8-for-10 from the foul line. He added a game-high 14 rebounds.

In addition to Gordon’s big night, Fournier finished 9-for-15 with 28 points. D.J. Augustin added 19 points, six assists, and three steals. Despite tough shooting nights, Vucevic and Simmon each tallied 12 points.

Russell paced the Nets with 29 points in a losing effort. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Carroll and Caris LeVert added 18, 17, and 15 points, respectively.

The Magic would get off to a 6-2 start, but that was followed by a 6-29 stretch during another dismal campaign. Gordon’s career night would serve as the second and final 40-point game for an Orlando player that season. It came on this day five years ago.