Denton: Magic vs. Pistons Analysis (12/27/13)
The Magic are in the midst of their longest home stand of the season. The six-game home spree still has games remaining against Atlanta (Sunday) and Golden State (Tuesday). Orlando defeated the Hawks in Atlanta in late November and it was one of the few teams to beat the Warriors twice last season.
Up seven at the half, Orlando put the game out of reach in the third quarter with more solid play on the offensive end. The Magic hit 13 of 23 shots in the third period to extend their lead to as much as 21 points on a sluggish Pistons’ squad.
The Magic played well in the third quarter despite being without Afflalo for a short period of time after he sprained his ankle during a collision with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Afflalo, who made nine of 11 shots, didn’t seem too concerned about the injury after the game.
``Ankles are one of those things where if you can fight through it, it’s better to go ahead and play. If you sit down it will just get stiff,’’ Afflalo said. ``It felt a little stiff trying to come back in the fourth quarter, so we didn’t want to do anything crazy because we had the game in hand.’’
Orlando shot the ball exceptionally well in the first half and led 55-48 at intermission. Fuelled by fast starts from Afflalo and Davis, the Magic made 10 of their first 15 shots and drilled 56.4 percent of their tries in the first 24 minutes.
Oladipo didn’t play in the second half of Monday’s loss to the Knicks, but he responded with an inspired first half on Friday. He’s spent a great amount of time working on how to attack out of middle pick-and-roll plays after practice, and the work paid off on Friday. He repeatedly got into the rim and had 10 points and eight assists in the first half.
``I’m just trying to keep working hard. Some days it’s going to work for me and some days it isn’t going to work,’’ Oladipo said of his extra drill work of late. ``I was just being patient, keeping my head up coming off ball screens and reading what the defense was giving me. I had a great pace and now I’ve just got to be consistent with it.’’
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