Denton's Dish: The 5th Quarter (4/11/14)

Arron Afflalo

By John Denton
April 11, 2014

ORLANDO – A fast start by the Orlando Magic fizzled under an avalanche of second-half turnovers and missed shots as the Washington Wizards pulled away for a 96-86 victory and a four-game season sweep.

Here are five takeaways from Friday’s game from the Amway Center:

JEKYLL AND HYDE HALVES: In the first half on Friday night, Orlando had 16 assists and five turnovers and led 51-45 at intermission. In the second half, Orlando turned the ball over 13 times and scored just 35 points in a frustrating loss.

Washington came out of halftime the more physical team, and the Magic aided the Wizards by giving the ball away time and time again. Orlando had six turnovers on its first 11 possessions of the second half. Washington scored 15 points in the second half off Orlando’s turnovers and 23 points in the game following Magic miscues.

``Nothing really (changed), but it was just the turnovers in the third quarter,’’ Magic guard Arron Afflalo said. ``It was a lack of defensive rebounding a little bit. That’s pretty much it, but (the turnovers) got them back into the game and into a good rhythm. And we’ve got to play without fouling.’’

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCE: Orlando’s loss, combined with a surprising victory by the Boston Celtics on Friday night, might come back to help the Magic in the June 20 NBA Draft Lottery.

At 23-56, Orlando once again has the NBA’s third-worst record. The Magic briefly caught the Celtics on Wednesday when they beat Brooklyn and the Celtics fell apart in the fourth quarter of a game in Atlanta.

Boston (24-55) ended a nine-game losing streak on Friday night when it toppled the Charlotte Bobcats 106-103. That result also had a bearing on the playoff seedings as Washington moved into sixth and Charlotte fell to seventh.

As for the Magic, if they remain in the third position for the lottery, they will have a 15.6 percent shot at the No. 1 pick and a 46.9 percent chance of landing a top-three pick. At the fourth spot, Orlando would have an 11.9 percent chance at No. 1 and a 37.8 percent change of nabbing a top-three pick.

The teams with the third-best odds have won the past two NBA Draft Lotteries – New Orleans and Cleveland to select Anthony Davis and Anthony Bennett. Over the past 17 years, the winner of the lottery has come from the third slot six times – easily the most of any spot.

QUOTABLE: ``These are great games for us to be playing right now. Just to see how you win games at the end and what you need to do, whether it’s not giving up an offensive rebound or making sure that you are matched up in transition defense. We’re learning and that’s the good part of this. We leave these games and we’re learning lessons. What I do like is we’re playing better basketball. This is another playoff team that we’ve played and for us to come out with a good approach and do a lot of good things throughout the course of the night, it was good to see.’’ – Magic coach Jacque Vaughn on his team facing several playoff-bound foes down the stretch

PASSING FANCY: Orlando moved the ball especially well early in the game and had a couple of dishes that were worthy of being on the top plays of the night on the highlight shows.

Late in the first quarter, Tobias Harris flipped a behind-the-back pass to Victor Oladipo for a scooping layup that gave the Magic a 27-16 lead. The pass elicited a roar from the crowd and ohhs and ahhs as the replay was shown on the Amway Center jumbotron. Midway through the second quarter, Dewayne Dedmon fell on his rear when Washington veteran Al Harrington moved out of the way on a post move. Dedmon still had the wherewithal to find a cutting Oladipo for a layup.