ORLANDO, FL – the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Orlando Magic 121-106 in the NBA playoffs yesterday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Walt Disney World.
The short-handed Magic fought with intensity for three quarters and kept pace with the Bucks, but errors and mistakes made it an easy win for the number 1 seeded Bucks.
Because the Bucks, who had the best winning record in the league, and have Giannis Antetokounmpo, presumed repeat for league MVP, their talent advantage makes this match up an uphill battle for Orlando.
Nikola Vucevic has proven that his shortcomings against the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 playoffs are no longer an issue in 2020. Vuc has proven to be the Magic’s soli scorer by putting in a 31 point night for the Magic, including 11 rebounds and 6 for 10 shooting from 3 pt range.
“It’s tough when you play well for three quarters,” Nikola Vucevic said after Game 4. “We played well today for three quarters. In the fourth quarter, that’s the important time when you have to execute and make shots. Credit to them, they picked it up when they needed to and took care of business.”
This is definitely a team that you can blame for not giving full effort. the Magic were right with the Bucks through 3 quarters, but mistake in the fourth quarter allowed Milwaukee to go on a 18-2 run and scoring 15 straight points.
Milwaukee saw the appearance of Kris Middleton, who contributed 21 points, including 4 for 7 shooting, adding to the Bucks Dominance.
The Magic were once again with mainstay Aaron Gordon, who was injured during the warm up game against Toronto and stained his hamstring.
The ascending Michael Carter-Williams still hs not recovered from a foot injure he suffered early in the bubble, plus the face that the Magic lost the energetic Jonathan Isaac and big man Mo Bamba has left the boys in blue short handed in many spots.
Surpises have been new acquisition Gary Clark, who scored 12 points and shot 50% from 3 and fits right in with Steve Clifford’s workman-like style of play.
Markelle Fultz provided The usual energy for the Magic, according in his usual rage with 15 points. The Good news is that Fultz too 4 three- point shots and made two of them. But the Mistakes by the Magic…
“I think that in that fourth quarter when they went on that run, we made too many mistakes down the stretch time,” Markelle Fultz said after Monday’s loss. “When we needed to be locked in the most, we made too many errors on our behalf. You can’t make mistakes against teams like that in critical moments. I think we shot ourselves in the foot with that in the fourth.”
When you’re playing short handed and missing key players, you have to almost play mistake-free basketball. The Magic made 16 turnovers in the game, leading to 17 Bucks points.
The Magic face Milwaukee on Wednesday August 26th for game 5 of the series down 3-1 against the Bucks. Clifford thinks that his team will be mentally ready, even thought they are against the wall.
“Our guys have really good character,” Steve Clifford said after Game 4. “It was a disappointed locker room. We had put ourselves in position. These games are the tough ones down 3-1. But I’d be surprised if we didn’t come out with a great approach and play good again.”