Arron Afflalo sat at halftime with a paltry three points on 1-for-5 shooting. Philadelphia had just cut into Orlando's 15-point lead with a 10-0 run to close the first half. Both teams were shooting the ball extremely well with the Magic at 54.8 percent shooting from the floor and the Sixers at 45.2 percent shooting with five made 3-pointers already.
Whoever was going to step up and play defense was pretty likely to win the game with the way Evan Turner and Michael Carter-Williams were putting up shots. And, conversely, the way NIkola Vucevic (17 points and 10 rebounds on a perfect eight for eight at the half) was scoring too.
That is not quite what happened. What happened instead was an ugly, grind-it-out performance you usually do not see from a young team like the Magic. Orlando had to grind its way to 50 points in the second half without the benefit of a 3-point shot and with Vucevic beginning to slow down.
The Magic never surrendered the lead in the second half, but never blew the game open -- taking their biggest lead of the half in the final margin. It was not pretty by any stretch of the imagination.
"I was telling Arron, that was the ugliest 18 points I've ever seen in my life," Glen Davis said. "There's games like that. There's games where Arron has been carrying this team basically since the season started. He's not Superman. We have guys on this team capable of, when in doubt, we can fill in the gap for him. That's what happened today.
"We're just grinding it. And you see in the second half, we made things happen. That was so big just grinding and getting the win. That's all that matters. There's going to be nights like this. I'm proud of our team and how we played."
It got the job done for a 105-94 victory at Amway Center on Wednesday.
Afflalo scored 18 points for the game, making 5 of his 10 shots in the second half on his way to 15 second-half points. That included 11 in the fourth quarter as the Magic closed the deal and held off whatever final runs the Sixers had at them.
Jacque Vaughn said they went to him and Afflalo turned in a professional performance. You could say the same thing for the rest of the Magic in earning this W.no comments