Denton: Magic at Sixers Analysis (12/3/13)

   

The Magic were without starting center Nikola Vucevic, who sprained his ankle Monday night in Washington, D.C. when he accidentally stepped on the foot of a courtside photographer. Vucevic hopes to play Friday in New York.

Without Vucevic, the Magic were outrebounded 56-34 and 20-8 on the offensive glass. The Sixers had a 31-16 edge on second-chance points and 58-38 advantage in paint points. Davis was upset with himself for getting just three rebounds in 50 minutes, saying he must work harder on the glass with Vucevic out.

Down as much as eight points in the fourth quarter, Orlando used a huge, game-turning surge and then clutch 3-pointers from Afflalo and Davis to knot the game at 104-all. Davis’ 3-pointer – his first of the season – tied the game with 18 seconds to play. Then, Orlando dodged a bullet in the final seconds of regulation when Philadelphia’s Evan Turner missed on a contested drive to the hoop.

Said Davis of his first 3-pointer of the season: ``I was shooting the ball really, really well and I was open on that play. When you are shooting the ball really, really well you don’t have any conscious. I shot it and it went in. I wasn’t really thinking and I was just playing.’’

The Magic were playing for a second time in as many nights. They lost 98-80 in Washington on Monday – their lowest offensive output of the season. But the Magic were dialed in offensively on Tuesday and nearly did enough to capture what would have been an exhilarating victory.

The Magic are in the midst of the longest road trip in their 25-history, but they will get somewhat of a reprieve over the next two days with off nights in New York City. Orlando will be off on Wednesday, allowing New Yorkers Tobias Harris, Kyle O’Quinn, Doron Lamb and Harkless to spend time with family and friends. The Magic will practice on Thursday and then face the Knicks on Friday.

Orlando’s six-game, 12-day trip then extends to Houston (Sunday), Memphis (Monday) and Charlotte (Dec. 11). Orlando’s previous long trip was 11 days (and seven games) in 2002.

Tuesday’s game featured Round 2 of the battle between leading Rookie of the Year candidates Victor Oladipo and Michael Carter-Williams. Carter-Williams was announced as the winner of the NBA’s Kia Rookie of the Month award for October and November before the game.

Carter-Williams had 23 points and four steals when the two rookie guards met for the first time last week in Orlando, but Oladipo got the last laugh with the team victory. In that game, Oladipo scored 18 points and carried the Magic offensively in the fourth quarter.

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