PORTLAND – The Orlando Magic drop to 12-17 on the season with a loss to the Portland Trailblazers, moving them out of the Eastern Conference playoff picture. The Magic have now lost 5 out of their last 6 games bringing their losing streak to 3 games.
The game was tied at 9 early, then came a Portland Trailblazer surge. The Blazers went on a 15-0 run in the quarter and Orlando couldn’t fully recover only mustering 13 first quarter points en route to a frustrating loss.
Vucevic on Portland’s 15-0 run, “Just have to find a way to stop the bleeding, you know think obviously if we’re making more shots it would’ve been you know easier When you see the ball goes through the net it always helps. But, again our transition defense has to be better, just our defense in general. It’s not easy when you don’t score.”
The team finished the game woefully inefficient, shooting 37% from the field, 25% from three-point distance and 69% from the free throw line.
On the flip side, Portland shot 50% from the field, 47% from three and 89% from the free throw line, a stark contrast from Orlando.
The Blazers started off hot and finished hot behind Damian Lillard’s 36 points and CJ McCollum’s 31 points as they combined for 11/21 from behind the arc. Lillard alone matched Orlando’s made three’s as a team with 7.
The Magic just couldn’t get it going tonight. Although Vucevic and Augustin had solid games, Vucevic with 23 points, 12 assists and Augustin 17 points it wasn’t nearly enough to overcome the team’s offensive and defensive struggles.
Aaron Gordon, fully aware the team needs his scoring looked to be aggressive against Portland. However, it just wasn’t his night. While he posted a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds he shot 4/17 from the field.
It is hard to win in the NBA as it is, but with everything working for Portland and against Orlando, it’s almost impossible win games consistently.
The last 5 games leave Orlando with more questions than answers and copious amounts of frustration.
This road trip ended with a tough loss, but now Orlando must shift its focus to their next opponent. On Monday at home, the Magic will face a struggling Chicago Bulls team who are coming off an overtime victory against the Wizards, looking to improve their winning streak to 2 games.