Denton: Magic vs. Kings Analysis (12/21/13)


No moment summed up the Magic’s frustration more on this night than a possession where they couldn’t convert three times from point-blank range. Trailing 101-97, Victor Oladipo couldn’t convert a layup and then Glen Davis and Arron Afflalo missed tip-ins. Seconds later, Orlando tried to inbound the ball to Afflalo, who slipped on a wet spot, and the ball sailed out of bounds.

That possession came on the heels of the Magic repeatedly missing free throws that could have allowed them to trim a deficit that swelled to as much as 12 points in the fourth quarter. At one point in the game the Magic missed six consecutive free throws.

``It doesn’t go down to those last two or three plays. That’s not what it’s about,’’ Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said. ``The margin for error is pretty small. The transition (defense), the offensive rebound, the missed box-out – those plays throughout the course of the game add up. And that’s a lesson for us. As we continue to grow, those possession matter. Whether it’s a swing in confidence for the other team or a deflating possession for yourself, those possessions matter. It doesn’t just boil down to the last two or three possessions of the game.’’

With the loss before 14,283 fans at the Amway Center, Orlando (8-19) dropped to 0-13 this season when giving up at least 100 points. On this night, the Magic scored 51 points in the game’s first 19 minutes, but managed just 49 points over the final 29 minutes.

Sacramento (8-17) came into the game playing a second time in as many nights and in its fourth game in the previous five nights. The Kings were winless on their trip and had given up 124 and 122 points the previous two games against Atlanta and Miami.

Afflalo, back after missing Wednesday’s game with a tonsils problem that affected his breathing, scored 26 points and made three 3-pointers. Tobias Harris added 21 points on seven of 11 shooting, while Jameer Nelson chipped in 13 points.

``The game was a four-point swing in our way and then the next thing you know they are up 10 or 12,’’ Afflalo said. ``To say the least it was extremely disappointing. … (The free throws) are one of those things that are disappointing because it’s contagious. A good pass is contagious to another good pass and effort is contagious. I’ve been shooting free throws pretty well and I missed two on technical fouls and it’s just a wasted opportunity. It becomes contagious. Then I miss a layup and we had some turnovers. The end of the game is something that I want to forget.’’


Follow John Denton on Twitter here