Denton: Magic vs. Bobcats Analysis (1/17/14)

   

The third quarter started promisingly enough as the Magic took a one-point halftime lead and expanded it to five. But the offense inexplicably ground to a halt and over the next five minutes the Magic saw the game swing around 10 points. If not for two 3-pointers from Nelson, the Magic might have been down more than 78-74 heading into the fourth quarter.

``We have to go right back at them. We can’t hang our heads because this is the NBA,’’ Harris said. ``In the fourth quarter we have to pick up our energy and be excited. Our energy has to be higher and we have believe that we can win that game even if shots aren’t falling for us.’’

Dead in the water at the start of the game, the Magic made an incredible second-quarter rally behind the electrifying play of Oladipo. The dazzling rookie seemed to be on a triple-double pace in the first half with 10 points, seven assists and five rebounds as Orlando took a 53-52 lead into intermission.

Oladipo had an incredible stretch midway through the second period when he buried a 3-pointer from the wing and then scooped up a loose ball and dunked in thunderous fashion on Charlotte’s Gerald Henderson.

Harris, who had seven first-half points, also had a dazzling sequence during the Magic’s thrilling second quarter. After blocking a Kemba Walker shot, Harris raced down the floor, twisted his body under the rim and finished a highlight-worthy reverse layup.

Worried about a potential hangover from Wednesday’s triple-overtime loss spilling into Friday, Orlando’s worst fears were realized at the start of the game. Orlando missed nine of its first 10 shots and turned the ball over three times in the first six minutes to fall in an unsightly 19-2 hole. It further complicated matters when the Magic couldn’t get a stop as Charlotte made nine of its first 12 shots.

The Magic seemed to have made the poor start a distant memory by outscoring Charlotte 50-31 after falling into the 21-3 hole. But all of the energy expended to come back in the second period was unavailable in the second half as the Magic struggled.

``We just have a lot of things to work on collectively,’’ Afflalo said. ``I don’t think any of us can do more or less and think that wins are going to come from it. It’s going to be a collective understanding of how to win and we’ll figure those things out as a group.’’

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