ATLANTA – The Orlando Magic’s offense started the night off in a sluggish fashion, but then picked up right where they left off against the Nets in the 2nd quarter. The Magic defeated the Atlanta Hawks behind the combined efforts of Aaron Gordon, Nikola Vucevic and Evan Fournier combining for 70 points en route to a 130-120 victory.
Last game against the Nets it was in the second half that Orlando combined for 74 points. Against the Hawks tonight, it was in the second and third quarters where the Magic combined for a staggering 80 points. In those quarters combined, Orlando was plus 12 outscoring the Hawks 80-68.
“That’s what the NBA is. If you want to win you got to have everybody playing well and our guys know that – we’ve had a couple games now that’s, actually we’ve won four out of five and that’s the way it’s got to be”, said Head Coach Steve Clifford.
Aaron Gordon had a substantial role in the victory as he permeated the stat sheet with 25 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks and 1 steal. What truly makes this stat line special is Gordon scored 18 of his 25 points in the 3rd quarter, placing the team on his back.
“Energy and effort points. Just trying to do other things like offensive rebound, get steals, block shots, you know all the intangible stuff, and that gets me going. I just try to turn my motor up, stay poised and my teammates did an incredible job finding me”, said Gordon on what got him going tonight.
Gordon is averaging 14.5 points this season, however, since the calendar flipped to the month of February, he’s averaging 20 points.
“I’m being a little bit more disciplined in my work ethic and my preparation and so it’s paying off”, said Gordon on his impressive month.
While Nikola Vucevic added another double-double to his season of 17 points and 12 rebounds, Evan Fournier added 28 points of his own on 11/18 shooting, his 24th 20+ point game this season.
Though we haven’t heard much of Mo’ Bamba this season, he played one of, if not, his best game in an Orlando Magic uniform pouring in 15 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks in 17 minutes.
“I’m trying to do everything I could to gain some extra minutes. You know, some of it is just out of my control, but I was ready for the call and I just went out there and just played”, said Bamba.
After going 0-2 in the series against the Hawks this season, the Magic have turned the tables and won the final two meetings splitting the season series.
Now Orlando must shift its focus to protecting home court against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday.