Sports

Magic Battle Back to take OT Thriller over Memphis 123-119

Evan Fournier scored over the Justin Holiday as the Orlando Magic Defeat the Memphis Grizzlies at Amway Center

With each game, the Orlando Magic get more and more into their first “playoff mode” atmosphere in 12 since 2011. The Orlando Magic came back from trailing the Memphis Grizzlies to win 123-119 in overtime at Amway Center.

The Magic overcame a 17 point deficit to win the game. This is the largest deficit they crawled out of this season.

Memphis pretty much had their way with Orlando for most of the game, But Magic head coach said the tide turned when they started REALLY playing defense.

“I mean, look, we couldn’t stop them,’’ Magic coach Steve Clifford said, referring to the game’s first 36 minutes. “In the fourth quarter, we played some really good defense and gave ourselves a chance to win.’’

Evan Fournier (11) and Terrance Ross(19) were the only Magic player in double figures at the end of the first half, while 4 of the 5 Grizzly starters were in double digits.

The Magic regained their defensive footing and outscored the Grizzlies 29-15 in the fourth quarter and were clutch in the final minutes to hold a 104-104 tie to take it into overtime.

The Magic and Grizzlies had 7 lead changes in the overtime period, but it ended when Fournier drilled a short pull-up jumper in the lane to give the Magic a 119-118 edge. From there, Nikola Vucevic had a pick-and-roll layup over Jonas Valanciunas with 35 seconds to play that boosted the lead to three.

The Magic won at the Amway Center for a sixth consecutive time and for the 10th time in the past 11 games. It’s the Magic’s longest home winning streak since Dec. 23, 2010-Jan. 21, 2011 when they were victorious eight consecutive times at the Amway Center. Also, Friday’s win was the Magic’s 22ndof the season at home – their second most in the past seven seasons. 

Terrance Ross lead all scorer with 31 points, Memphis’ Tyler Dorsey lead Memphis with 29, not a bad night for the substitute of guard Mice Conley.

Orlando will be off on Saturday before returning to the practice floor on Sunday to prepare for what should be the team’s most significant back-to-back set of games of the season. The Magic will wrap up their five-game home stand on Monday against the surging Philadelphia 76ers before flying to South Florida to do battle with the hated Heat.

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