Tobias Harris said it felt like deja vu as Washington opened the third quarter on an 18-4 run, erasing a 12-point halftime lead and making the Magic think another double-digit deficit would be gone. Orlando shot 51.1 percent in the first half and had the game rolling against an improved Washington squad.
The Magic's field goal percentage started to drop and their defensive focus and intensity seemed to begin to wane.
Harris and the Magic would not let this be deja vu after losing a 19-point lead in Charlotte the previous time out. Harris was part of that collapse and he struggled at the end of the game. He and Jacque Vaughn reviewed the end of that game and Harris was instantly better.
And that is tough to do after scoring a career high in points.
Harris surpassed that career high with 30 points, shooting 11 for 21 from the floor and grabbing 11 rebounds. That included a big two-point shot when he pump faked the defender off the 3-point line and stepped inside for a jumper that gave the Magic a five-point lead, the Magic's final field goal of the game.
What that does not show is the play that Harris called a "gamble" where, with the Magic up three points, Harris left Wall early as he was set to pass the ball to Trevor Ariza at the three point line. Harris was there to meet him for what Ariza probably thought would be an open 3-pointer. The shot was no good and Orlando held on for a 97-92 victory at Amway Center on Friday.
"The key for us, especially being a young team, is getting into a habit where we take every possession, that when they are on offense that we focus and dig down on every possession," Tobias Harris said. "Toward the end of the games, and a lot of the games we have had in the past, teams have been scoring on us, especially in the fourth quarter in the last five minutes of the game. My goal tonight was to get our guys together and know that each and every possession counts."
Harris was a constant offensive threat throughout the game, adding three blocks to his record and while he did not record an assist, the defense was sufficiently focused on him to get others open. Harris had 11 points after one quarter and helped the Magic get on their way.no comments