The Orlando Magic (4-9) dropped their fourth straight game Sunday as the Phoenix Suns (7-6) jumped out to a ten-point lead after the first quarter and never looked back, winning 104-96. The Magic -led by Jameer Nelson – cut the lead to three with three minutes left in the fourth quarter but seven consecutive points from Goran Dragić (23 points, 13 assists) put the game away for good.
Tobias Harris played for the first time since sustaining an ankle injury on October 20th in a preseason game against the Detroit Pistons. He appeared to be a little rusty, Jacque Vaughn limited him to just 16 minutes in which he scored six points on 3-of-8 shooting.
Suns guard Gerald Green contributed 20 points on the night. He scored 13 of those points in the first quarter, helping the Suns build a double-digit lead of over the Magic.
Phoenix pushed the pace from the get-go. Make or miss, the Suns pushed the ball up the floor and really tested Orlando’s transition defense, scoring 18 fast break points and opening up outside shots for Green, Channing Frye, and the Morris twins. As they have all this year, the Suns relied on jump shooting on Sunday, shooting on three total free throws as evidence.
On bright-spot for the Magic: Orlando’s big men thrived against Phoenix’s undersized lineup. Nik Vučević had his mid-range jump shot going and posted yet another double-double — 20 points, 10 rebounds. Andrew Nicholson saw some significant playing time Sunday. Nicholson (19 points, 8 rebounds) shot 3-for-4 from three, an improvement over his recent cold shooting.
It was the second game of a back-to-back for the Magic, but still overall a disappointing home loss for Orlando against a better-than-expected yet still beatable Phoenix Suns squad. The Magic’s transition defense really let them down in the first quarter which helped the Suns build a comfortable cushion that the Magic couldn’t overcome. Now, Orlando will look to turn it around Tuesday in Atlanta against the Hawks at 7:30 PM.