In the midst of one of their toughest stretches of the schedule of the season, the Magic will be back in action on Wednesday night they host the 76ers and dazzling rookie guard Michael Carter-Williams. It will be Orlando’s fourth game in five nights. Including Friday’s 7 p.m. home game against the San Antonio Spurs, the Magic will be playing five times in seven nights.
The Magic had one of their best stretches of basketball of the season in the third quarter to take control of the game. Getting an energy boost from Moore, Afflalo and Nelson, Orlando looked like a well-oiled machine over the final 10 minutes of the third quarter.
``It was all about the defense,’’ said Afflalo, who made nine of 18 shots, four of seven 3-pointers and all four of his free throws. ``E’Twaun gave us some great effort and the bigs did a great job of protecting the basket. Nik did a great job of rebounding. The combination of protecting the rim and getting some good guard play was really good for us.’’
The Magic made 15 of 24 shots in the third quarter and outscored the Hawks 36-20 in the period. Orlando had 10 assists on its 15 baskets – eight of them coming from Nelson, who repeatedly probed the defense and found an open shooter. Nelson also got into the act offensively, wisely cutting to the rim for two layups. Moore jump-started the Magic offensive explosion with seven straight points on three consecutive hustle plays.
``We talked before the game about getting into the lane and I felt I was settling too much and deferring instead of being myself,’’ Nelson said. ``So I had to get into the lane and make some plays. I was fortunate enough to find guys and they made shots.’’
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