By John Denton
February 2, 2013

MILWAUKEE – Long before the start of this season, as he was contemplating the challenges that lie ahead for a retooled Orlando Magic roster, head coach Jacque Vaughn made a vow to himself that he would be a beacon of positivity and consistency for his team.

Patience and forgiveness are usually qualities in short supply for rookie coaches looking to make their mark in the NBA. Vaughn went into this season knowing his fortitude would be tested, but he vowed to stay strong no matter the depths this season hit in bad times.

This particular stretch would certainly qualify as the injury-depleted Magic seem to be running on fumes. Forced to play once again without three-fifths of their starting lineup, the Magic put up a game fight most of the night, but they were ultimately outgunned 107-98 by the Milwaukee Bucks at the Bradley Center.

For the Magic (14-33), it was their fourth loss on this road trip, their ninth straight loss overall and their 20th defeat in the past 22 games.

On the positive side, however, Orlando clawed back from an early 13-point deficit and managed to take the lead three different times in the third quarter. But a 19-6 run by Milwaukee (25-21) late in the third quarter put the Magic in a hole that proved to be too deep to come out of.

The Magic certainly didn’t help themselves by missing 11 of 22 free throws in the game. But Orlando pounded Milwaukee on the glass 52-42 and snagged a whopping 20 offensive boards. They also shared the ball well offensively, notching 32 assists on their 41 baskets.

Vaughn vowed Saturday night that even though his team is in the throes of its second extended losing streak of the season, he will remain positive and continue to push the team. There were plenty of positives to take out of Saturday’s loss, especially the way Orlando’s four rookies played throughout the game. So Vaughn’s spirit will remain unbroken despite yet another disappointing defeat.

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