After beating with the Denver Nuggets for nearly three quarters, the Orlando Magic (or what’s left of them) were run off of the court in the fourth quarter Sunday night, falling to the Nuggets 101-74.
Ryan Anderson led the Magic with 24 points and nine rebounds while Danilo Gallinari and JaVale McGee each had 17 points to lead the Nuggets.
The Magic hung with the Nuggets for the better part of three quarters, but Denver pulled away from a tired Magic team late in third quarter, before owning the fourth quarter, outscoring the Magic 28-12 en en route to a 27-point victory. In the second half the Magic were clearly sucking wind. At tip off, they were playing roughly 18-and-a-half hours after their overtime game with the Utah Jazz ended Saturday night. Of course, they continued to play without Dwight Howard and Hedo Turkoglu, Earl Clark missed his second consecutive game and co-captain Jameer Nelson played just two minutes before injuring his left calf. He did not return.
As the game went, the JaVale McGee dunk show went on too. At one point, with the Magic trailing by seven, Daniel Orton grabbed a rebound and missed two free throws. On the next two possessions, McGee went right past Orton, throwing down wto alley-oop dunks, pushing what could have been a five-point lead to 11. The Magic never recovered.
Effort wasn’t much of a question in the first half, in fact it was good effort until things came unglued in the fourth quarter. The Magic had several leads and the game was tied at 44 in the first half.
For the game, the numbers aren’t pretty. Orlando shot an effective field goal percentage of just 41.3% and had an offensive rating of 85.6. They also allowed the Nuggets to score 19 points off of 16 turnovers. Conversely, the Nuggets posted an effective field goal percentage of 59.6% and an offensive rating of 112.4.
- The Magic were also just 6-of-23 (26.1%) from beyond the arc.
- Outside of an injured Earl Clark, every Magic played who dressed played with Justin Harper and DeAndre Liggins each earning three minutes in garbage time.
- Ryan Anderson was again the star for Orlando, scoring 24 points on 18 shots and grabbing nine boards.
- No other Magic played grabbed more than five rebounds and they were beaten on the glass 43-33
- The only other play in double figures was Glen Davis, who scored 14 points on 4-of-8 shooting, but grabbed only three rebounds.
Next Up: The Magic will host the Charlotte Bobcats Wednesday night.
Final Thought: The Magic lost another key contributor in Jameer Nelson.
(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN Florida’s Magic Insider (http://ESPNFlorida.com) and is the co-host of the ESPNFlorida.com Insiders Show Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST. 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)