Augustin Spectacular Down the Stretch

by Josh Cohen

ORLANDO - After the Wizards trimmed a 25-point Magic lead in the third quarter to one with a little over two minutes left in the fourth, a composed and sharp D.J. Augustin took over, with his shooting, passing and defense.

On the eve of his 31st birthday, Augustin drilled one of his two 3-pointers with 2:11 left. He’s shooting nearly 42 percent from downtown this season.

An ESPN Top 10 worthy play came next, as the 11-year NBA veteran delivered a perfectly-timed alley-oop pass in transition from near half-court to Terrence Ross, who pushed Orlando’s lead to six with 1:50 left.

Although he doesn’t usually get much credit for his defense, Augustin has pretty good instincts and anticipation on that end of the floor. He demonstrated this on Washington’s ensuing possession when he telegraphed and intercepted a John Wall pass intended for Austin Rivers.

The 6-foot-0, 183-pound floor general capped off his outstanding late-game performance with three free throws.

Augustin wasn’t the only one to shine in Friday’s win, though. Nikola Vucevic was sensational, posting 21 points, 14 rebounds, three assists and two blocks, including one on Wall with 1:05 remaining.

Mo Bamba delivered one of his best performances of the young season, scoring a career-best 15 points on a near-perfect 7-of-8 shooting from the field. Another second unit standout was Jerian Grant, who made all five of his shot attempts and finished with 13 points.

Aaron Gordon was solid, as usual, filling up the stat sheet with 20 points, seven rebounds and four assists.