ORLANDO MAGIC 114 – 110 DENVER NUGGETS
As Jonathan Isaac returned the Orlando Magic got a win in their final scrimmage game against the Nuggets, the current 3rd seeded team in the West.
The Magic were without Aaron Gordon (groin) & Wes Iwundu (concussion protocol) but saw the return of Markelle Fultz & Jonathan Isaac. Fultz had arrived late to the bubble & Isaac had been out with a knee injury since New Years Day.
The reintroduction of JI was sooner than any Magic fan dared to hope. It was much sooner than we had discussed in our weekly preview, Penny For Your Thoughts. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inRm5f_N0nE
THE STORY OF THE GAME
On the night the Magic produced their best scrimmage performance. Running out to an early lead which we held from start to finish all bar one brief moment in the first quarter.
With 3 minutes of the 1st remaining Coach Clifford brought Isaac & Fultz on for their first action since the restart. Instant impact is all that the introduction can be described as! Within 18 seconds JI had 2 points & 2 rebounds. On the next play he hit a 3. During a 24-2 run Isaac, Fultz & Terence Ross were responsible for all the points. The lead was took out to 21 but by half time had been cut to 11. The Magic led 60-49
After the break James Ennis continued his efforts of earlier in the game with active hands & energy. His work created him a solid stat line. Gary Clark took his opportunity to start with both hands as he scored 4 consecutive 3 point shots. DJ Augustin weighed in from 3 also.
Our defensive play on the 3 has been of concern & was again last night. This allowed the Nuggets to be within 8 at the end of the 3rd. The 4th was a sloppy affair as for long parts the Coach played our fringe players. At the close the Magic had allowed the score to close to within 4 but in truth had dominated the game from start to finish.
Having played all of the available squad again Coach Clifford could look across the box score at some very pleasing stats. Every player scored points. The Magic shot a 44% field goal percentage, whilst going 48% from the 3. They had a total of 30 assists & 13 steals. From turnovers the Magic created 27 points.
In 7 minutes of play Jonathan Isaac had contributed 13 points, 7 rebounds, an assist & 2 steals. He had hit both 3 he attempted & shot 83.3% overall on his 5 of 6 shooting. How we have missed him!
Gary Clark scored 17 points & made 3 assists, DJ Augustin had 13 points & 3 assists, whilst James Ennis & Terence Ross both scored 15 points.
Whilst this was a scrimmage with little in the way of regular rotations it is of some concern to see our defensive play blow a 21 point lead, allowing the Nuggets to come back to within 4. The intensity needs to be picked up & again we were second best in the rebound stats.
Evan Fournier does not look happy. In the 3 scrimmage games he has contributed just 13 points. He is at 4 of 19 for field goals & only 2 of 12 from the 3! This is one of our main scorers & a go to shooter in a clutch situation.
The real business starts next as the Magic face the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night with a UK tip time at 7:30pm. http://orlandomagicuk.com/schedule/
This game is the resumption of the battle for the 7th seeding. The Magic are the designated road team for this one. A win would move us to 7th & start the seeding games in the best possible way.
As the current hashtag goes it is GAME ON!
LET’S GO MAGIC!