Denton: Magic at Grizzlies Analysis (12/9/13)

   

With their shooting woes continuing again Monday night, Orlando fell into a disheartening 51-30 hole in the first half. The Magic made just 12 of 36 shots (33.3 percent) in the first two quarters and was unable to find much production.

Orlando received a scare in the second quarter when Davis made a move under the basket and went down on the court for several minutes. Favoring his left leg, Davis limped to the locker room with a hamstring strain. Davis, who had eight first-half points, returned and played the final 2 minutes of the first half.

Afflalo and Nelson had several shots rim out in the first half and they were a combined four of 14 from the floor in the first half. Afflalo, Orlando’s leading scorer all season, missed his first four shots and didn’t have his first field goal until the game was some 18 minutes old. Meanwhile, Nelson missed five of his six tries in the early going.

``I don’t even have any words anymore. It’s at the point where you can’t even be mad,’’ Afflalo said of the Magic’s offensive struggles and their six-game losing streak. ``I’ll never get used to losing. But we’ll move on to the next game. … Honestly, I don’t pay attention to much right now other than the scoreboard. Maybe that’s a problem, but I don’t pay attention to (offensive struggles).’’

The Magic were once again undone early in the night by a one-sided stretch in the game. A night after yielding 17 straight first-quarter points to Houston, Orlando went the first 5 minutes, 20 seconds of the second quarter without scoring, missing all seven of their shots. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies ripped off 14 straight points to build a lead as large as 21 points.

Ever the optimist, Vaughn chose to focus on the Magic’s impressive second-half comeback on Monday and not just another defeat. He vowed that Orlando will stay strong through the rough patch and eventually get back to playing winning basketball again.

``Overall, it’s going to test your resolve and your resistance to giving in, but we’ve got a group in the locker room that I’m counting on to not give in and they showed that tonight,’’ Vaughn said. ``There’s always a time in the game when you can give in or choose to rally around each other and try to fight. We put a group out there that tried to do that and they gave us a chance to win.’’

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