While hope has arisen for the Orlando Magic with a solid young core, a long road back was expected immediately following the trade of star center Dwight Howard after the 2011-12 season.
The Magic treaded water early on during the 2012-13 campaign but were amid a 10-game losing streak when they arrived at the Staples Center on this day 10 years ago. In the end, however, J.J. Redick came through with a late three-pointer to lift Orlando to a 104-101 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Magic had never led as the contest ticked under a minute on Jan. 12, 2013. The Clippers led by as many as 11 points and 83-75 after three quarters. Orlando finally drew even, thanks to an 8-0 run capped by a four-point play from Arron Afflalo and a longer jumper from Nikola Vucevic.
The teams proceeded to trade baskets before a miss by former Magic forward Matt Barnes gave Orlando the basketball with a chance to take the lead. Redick missed the go-ahead three-point attempt, but an offensive rebound by Josh McRoberts kept the possession alive. Redick would get another chance from deep.
This time, he didn’t miss.
Off a screen, Redick used a pump fake to get Barnes off his feet. After one dribble to the side, the former Duke standout calmly knocked down the trey to give Orlando its first lead with 42 seconds left, 102-99.
Following a jumper from Chris Paul and a block by Los Angeles’ Lamar Odom, the Clippers had a chance to take the lead but with a full head of steam, Jamal Crawford was called for an offensive foul in the lane. After a dunk by Vucevic with eight seconds left, Crawford’s game-tying three-point attempt clanked off and Orlando survived.
Redick’s go-ahead three-pointer capped a 21-point night in which he shot 8-for-14 from the field and 4-for-8 from deep. Afflalo led the Magic with 30 points. Vucevic finished with 18 points on 7-for-9 shooting and 15 rebounds. Jameer Nelson added 11 points and nine assists.
Blake Griffin tied a game-high and led the Clippers with 30 points. Crawford added 13 points. Paul was among four Clippers to finish with 10 points to go with a game-high 16 assists and four steals.
The victory not only ended Orlando’s longest losing streak in nine years, but it put an end to the Clippers’ franchise record 13-game home winning streak. It came in thrilling fashion on this day a decade ago.