ORLANDO – On what was expected to be an exciting night in Orlando with both the Orlando Magic and the NFL Pro Bowl taking place back to back on the same street, no one expected this.
The Los Angeles Clippers were in town to face the Orlando Magic, but the game was in the backdrop of a tragic loss to the sport and the world. Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and 7 other passengers died in a helicopter crash this morning. The NBA and the world mourned this devastating and tragic event.
The Magic, coming off of losing 4 straight games, came into Miami reeling. Orlando has now lost six of its past seven games and are coming off of a mother where they played 8 times in 33 nights, a back to back game, and playing without three key rotational players because of injuries proved quite evident again and led to another horrible loss.
Magic head coach Steve Clifford was livid after watching the lackluster effort from his squad. the boys are just tired, but that’s not and excuse in the NBA.
“You come on the road against a good team and you need to be able to get off to a good start” said Clifford “our starters got badly outplayed to start the game and they got crushed to start the third quarter.”
Aaron Gordon scored a respectable 13 points, unfortunately, 11 of them came in the first half. It was a first half in which the Magic had an 11 point lead.
Then disaster happened. It was called the third quarter. The Clippers wiped out the early Orlando lead, rode a 31-point effort from Leonard. LA Outscored the Magic 31-20 in the third quarter and broke the game open.
Nikola Vucevic led Orlando with 13 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Fournier scored 10 and Gordon had a double double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
The Magic’s shooting was atrocious, Vucevic went five for fourteen, Fouenier, five of 19 and Gordon, three of twelve shooting. the 3-point shooting was also bad, with the guys going just seven for 32, including Terence Ross shooting zero for six.
Hopefully the ship will be righted as they travel to Miami for their next game against the Heat.