LOS ANGELES – For the second straight night the Magic step foot in the Staples Center, this time matching up against the Clippers. In their previous game, Orlando faced off against Lakers leaving with a win.
Against the Clippers, on the second of a back to back, the Magic came up short. It almost looked as if Orlando spent all of their energy against the Lakers the night before and the Clippers sensed it.
Markelle Fultz on the outcome of the game, “Back to backs are apart of the NBA you know, so coming in that’s not an excuse, but I think our mentality coming into the game and focus again, what Cliff [Steve Clifford] said, it wasn’t there.”
The Magic are a team that gets to the free throw line 22.4 times this season. Against the Clippers they shot a pedestrian 9-16 from the line as well as struggling from the floor, only shooting 39.1%.
“Our team, our approach, our attitude and our effort’s been a real strength all year and tonight it was not”, said Coach Clifford.
All night Orlando found themselves running into roadblocks, struggling to find their open looks. D.J. Augustin missed another game with a knee injury, and he’ll be re-evaluated in 3-4 weeks.
On the flip side, Kawhi Leonard dominated scoring 32 points along with 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Montrezl Harrell posed issues for Orlando off the bench pouring in 21 points of his own.
“I mean, look you have to have, obviously the necessary intensity, purpose, attitude play to win any night in this league, especially a team as good as theirs”, said Coach Clifford.
Aaron Gordon finished the game with 20 points and 5 rebounds and has this to say after the game. “We didn’t execute defensively, and we were scoring with them for you know, a little bit of time, but I mean that’s not really who we are.”
The Magic ran out of gas in this game and are afforded a day’s rest before making the short trip to the Bay Area to match up against the Golden State Warriors.