The Magic, in Minnesota to play the Timberwolves, had to manage without head coach Steve Clifford for much of the second half on Friday, after he came down with an illness in the third quarter.
Assistant Tyrone Corbin took over in the interim, while Clifford was taken to a local hospital to undergo further evaluation. The Magic won, 132-118, behind 28 points and 12 rebounds from Nikola Vucevic, and a 24-5-5 showing by Markelle Fultz.
During the third quarter of last night’s game at Minnesota, Orlando Magic Head Coach Steve Clifford experienced dizziness and left the floor.
— Orlando Magic PR (@Magic_PR) March 7, 2020
Swingman Aaron Gordon told reporters postgame that “It’s tough, man, because he’s a big part of this, obviously and he’s really the heart and soul. Seeing him leave the sideline, I could actually feel it in how we started playing. We were a little bit more disorganized and much more chaotic without (Clifford). His health comes first, we’re looking out for him and praying for him.”
OrlandoMagic.com reporter John Denton later relayed, via a Magic official, that there likely wouldn’t be any updates on Clifford’s condition until Saturday morning at the earliest.
Overnight, the team announced Clifford had been released from the hospital after being diagnosed with dehydration and cleared to resume coaching.
.@OrlandoMagic coach Steve Clifford, who experienced dizziness during the 3rd quarter of Friday’s game, was diagnosed with dehydration and was discharged from the hospital. He has rejoined the team and has been cleared to resume all coaching activities, per a Magic spokesman.
— John Denton (@JohnDenton555) March 7, 2020