Denton: Magic vs. Clippers Analysis (1/6/14)

   

``As a competitor you want to compete and be in the fight, but they hit us and it was tough,’’ Davis said later. ``We didn’t fight tonight. All around, we didn’t fight. Some nights it’s going to be like that but you have to fight out of it. We play a great team on Wednesday in Portland and we have to go out there and fight.’’

When things looked their most bleak Monday night, Magic young reserves Victor Oladipo and Maurice Harkless breathed some life into the team. The night could have been historically bad for the Magic if not for the undying effort of Oladipo and Harkless, who helped the Magic craft a mini-run in the fourth quarter. Oladipo, the prized pick from last June’s NBA Draft at No. 2, scored 22 points, while Harkless relentlessly attacked in the fourth quarter and finished with a season-high 22 points.

Once down 80-45 in the fourth period, Oladipo and Harkless willed Orlando back to within 16 points of the Clippers, but they couldn’t keep the run going down the stretch. Still, their solid play could be something to build off for a Magic team that will have to change the roster with Vucevic out indefinitely and other starters struggling mightily.

``I was just trying to be aggressive. It’s that simple, be aggressive and play hard,’’ said Oladipo, who made eight of 15 shots, hit three 3-pointers and chipped in eight rebounds and five steals. ``They came out aggressive and playing fast. Credit them for playing well. We just tried to keep fighting.’’

The defeat was the fourth in a row for the Magic (10-24) and their 10th in a row against a team from the powerful Western Conference. Just two months ago, Orlando whipped the Clippers at Amway Center, but this one was never in doubt following a one-sided start to the game by the Clippers (24-13).

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