Denton's Dish: The 5th Quarter (2/25/14)


By John Denton
Feb. 25, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Here are five takeaways from the Orlando Magic’s 115-106 loss to the Washington Wizards Tuesday night at the Verizon Center:


Orlando saw an impressive effort in the first half go down the tubes in the final 91 seconds of the second quarter.

Maurice Harkless drove hard into the lane and converted a spinning layup as he was fouled by Marcin Gortat with 1:29 to play in the first half to draw Orlando within 57-53 of the Wizards.

But whatever positive vibes that the Magic were hoping to take to the locker room at the intermission disappeared because of some spectacular play from Washington all-star guard John Wall.

Wall picked off a Jameer Nelson pass and converted it into a left-handed dunk on the other end. Seconds later, after the Magic failed to snag a rebound, Washington got the ball back to Wall and spread the floor. The speedy Wall easily got around Nelson and converted a difficult layup as he was hacked by Tobias Harris with 2.8 seconds to play. Wall’s free throw gave him 18 points in the first half and it gave the Wizards a commanding 62-53 lead that they wouldn’t surrender.

``Stuff like that (at the end of a quarter) is always a letdown,’’ Harkless admitted. ``When you come so close and then right before halftime, they go on a 5-0 run – that the stuff that we can’t let happen. That’s the mental breakdowns that we need to get rid of.’’