By John Denton
March 17, 2013
MILWAUKEE – This time, the Orlando Magic were on the opposite side of a furious second-half comeback. And once again, they were left frustrated – mostly because they couldn’t stop hot-shooting Milwaukee Bucks guard Monta Ellis.
Ellis undid a Magic 13-point lead by hitting five 3-pointers and scoring 33 of his 39 points in the second half and a staggering 25 in the fourth quarter as Milwaukee edged Orlando 115-109 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
``The first three quarters we had great intensity and effort and put ourselves in a great position to get a win, but in the fourth quarter we just came up a little short,’’ Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said. ``Two things: You have to give them credit for making shots and defensively we didn’t play as well as we did in the first three quarters.’’
Orlando (18-49) led Milwaukee (33-32) 97-85 with 6:45 to play before Ellis got scorching hot to bury what would have been one of the Magic’s best road wins of the season. Ellis scored 19 of Milwaukee’s last 30 points to key the fourth-quarter rally. In the fourth quarter alone, Ellis – who looked indifferent most of the early afternoon – made eight of 10 shots, all five of his 3-point tries and all four of his free throws.
``As coaches we’ll take a look at it and see what we could have done differently, but he made some tough shots,’’ Vaughn said. ``He shoots one with a second on the (shot) clock, he got another three in transition and then he got a contested one in front of Arron (Afflalo) and a contested one in front of Tobias (Harris). He just got into a groove and made shots.’’
Said Ellis: ``It was just going in. It was just one of those days where you feel it. The crowd got into it. My teammates had faith in me to give me the ball at the time, and I was able to knock the shots down. I didn’t think about it, I just shot the ball.’’
Afflalo had 24 points for the Magic, including 10 in the fourth quarter as he attempted to match the productivity of Ellis. Magic rookie forward Mo Harkless had a career-best 23 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots.
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