Magic Give Poor Effort In Loss To Kings

Dec 8, 2008; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy watches from the bench during the game against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center. The Magic defeated the Clippers 95-88. Photo via Newscom Photo via Newscom

The Magic got another poor defensive effort in a 111-105 loss to the Sacramento Kings Wednesday night.

Orlando scored at will in the second quarter, putting up 36 points but took just a three-point lead into the break. After allowing the Kings to tie the game at 64, the Magic put together a 14-2 run sparked by three-pointers from Hedo Turkoglu and Jameer Nelson to push the lead to 12. It appeared as though the Magic would take control of the game but instead the Magic let up and the Kings answered, cutting the lead to three and trailing by just five at the conclusion of the third quarter.

Orlando continued to play poorly in the fourth quarter and gave up the lead, falling behind 91-90. Sloppy play killed the Magic down the stretch and it ultimately cost them the game.

Dwight Howard had 31 points and 17 rebounds. He was 10-of-17 from the field and 11-of-12 from th free throw line. Central Florida product Jermaine Taylor led the Kings with 21 points.

After the jump, you can read more thoughts, quotes and observations from the game.

The Magic held a 96-94 lead with 6:30 left before things fell apart.

Here were the next few possessions:

Samuel Dalembert blocks Ryan Anderson’s 4-foot jumper.

Jameer Nelson misses 25-foot three-point jumper.

Jameer Nelson misses jumper.

Dwight Howard makes free throw 1 of 2.

Dwight Howard makes free throw 1 of 2.

At that point the game was tied at 98.

Ryan Anderson misses 25-foot three-point jumper.

Ryan Anderson misses 24-foot three-point jumper.

Jameer Nelson makes free throw 1 of 2.

Jameer Nelson makes free throw 1 of 2.

Ryan Anderson misses 23-foot three-point jumper.

Jameer Nelson bad pass (Beno Udrih steals).

Jameer Nelson makes two point shot.

Hedo Turkoglu misses 25-foot three-point jumper.

J.J. Redick misses 25-foot three-point jumper.

By that time, the Kings now had an eight point lead and the game was all but over.

Overall, the Magic went 5-of-19 from the field with four turnovers in the fourth quarter.

The highlight of the night had to be Jason Richardson’s dunk off of an alley oop from Jameer Nelson. Nelson threw the ball from half court and Richardson threw down a reverse dunk.

The defense was awful from the start. The Kings’ offense got several easy looks early in the game en route to a 31-point first quarter (on 14-of-23 shooting).

After the game, Stan Van Gundy explained the loss.

“We didn’t defend, we didn’t play well offensively, we didn’t rebound and we didn’t take care of the ball. I don’t know how much more complete you can be in playing poorly.”

Dwight Howard was much harder on the team than Van Gundy was. To read his comments, click here.

Next Up: The Magic will host Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder Friday night.

Final Thought: That was ugly and a pathetic effort. There isn’t much more to say.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger and ESPN 1080’s Magic Insider ( Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here).

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