By John Denton
December 23, 2012
Said Redick: ``Four or five times in a span of 10 minutes my jersey kept coming out. I’m coming off screens he’s just pulling on my jersey as a way to stay with me. I thought I made a point to the refs politely that it had happened.’’
Orlando lost the lead briefly in the early going of the third quarter, but played well the rest of the period and took a 73-71 advantage into the fourth quarter.
The Magic led 47-46 at the half after shooting 52.5 percent in the first 24 minutes. They led by as much as 16 points early in the second quarter when rookie center Kyle O’Quinn found Nicholson for a nifty no-look, over-the-shoulder assist.
But much as was the case on Friday in Toronto, the Magic had issues with turnovers. Orlando kicked the ball away 10 times in the first half, many of them coming when it tried to make difficult passes in traffic. Utah turned the turnovers into 12 points and outscored the Magic 26-11 over the final 10 minutes of the second period.
After getting Saturday off following the early-morning arrival from Toronto, the Magic were rested and ready at the start of the game with a robust first quarter.
Orlando drilled 14 of its first 21 shots (66.7 percent), hit two 3-pointers and had assists on eight of 14 field goals. Orlando’s 30-point start – they led 30-18 after one period – was its most productive first quarter of the season.
Feeding off Friday’s 26-point effort in Toronto, Afflalo picked up where he left off in Sunday’s first quarter. He drilled his first two shots on pull-up jumpers from the free throw line and then scored over Randy Foye in the post. Then, after two more jumpers, Afflalo confirmed his hot hand by dropping a contested 3-pointer. He made six of his first seven shots for 13 first-quarter points.
Nelson said what made Sunday’s loss so aggravating was that it was a winnable game and could have been taken without so many miscues.
``The frustrating part is that we’re playing good basketball, playing good defense and helping each other with a lot of effort,’’ Nelson fumed. ``But at the offensive end, we turn the ball over after working so hard on defense. We did what we can do in other areas, but in my eyes the turnovers killed us tonight.’’
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