Orlando (11-31) saw an early lead slip away just after halftime when it missed 18 of 21 shots in the third period. Down just four at the half, the Magic got outscored 27-14 in the third quarter to ruin their chances of a second win against Brooklyn (18-22) this season.
``We stopped playing together, we stopped playing defense and we just laid down,’’ Magic power forward Glen ``Big Baby’’ Davis said. ``We went to sleep.’’
Once 11 games under .500 and the clear disappointment of the NBA, Brooklyn has now won eight of nine games. The Nets’ wins on Monday afternoon against the New York Knicks and Tuesday night versus the Magic were their first back-to-back set of victories this season.
Orlando was coming off a stirring 93-91 defeat of Boston on Sunday at the Amway Center, and it was hoping for some carryover on Tuesday as they entered the official second half of the season. The Magic were attempting to win back-to-back games for the first time since Dec. 27 and 29 when they beat Detroit and Atlanta.
However, the Magic couldn’t slow down all-stars Joe Johnson (13 points) and Paul Pierce (13 points) in a one-sided third quarter. Orlando’s reserves made a brief run in the fourth period, but Brooklyn got five 3-pointers and a big run from Andray Blatche (18 points) and Mirza Teletovic (14 points and four 3-pointers) to finish off the Magic.
``Well, it was our starting group again,’’ said coach Jacque Vaughn, referring to the Magic’s bad habit of poor third-quarter performances of late. ``We had a good halftime talk and I was encouraged with the way that we talked and communicated at the half. But they came out with aggression, made a few shots early and we missed a few. We just can’t let those continue to pile up and carryover from one possession to the next.’’
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