BROOKLYN – The Orlando Magic kicked off their 2-game road trip with a thrilling victory against the Brooklyn Nets 115-113. The Magic engineered their largest comeback of the season, erasing a 19-point deficit en route to the winner’s column.
The story of this win came in the 2nd half of action where Orlando scored a combined 74 points. Notably the Magic turned the game around in the 2nd half with a 40-point 3rd quarter nearly equaling their entire first half offensive output of 41. Orlando built upon that lead while simultaneously tightening the defensive reigns in the 4th quarter netting 34 points and holding the Nets to 26 points.
“Terrence Ross. You know, I mean, just got going. So I think he was eight for nine in the second half – and you guys have seen it, he’s done it so many times. He gets into a streak like that and Aaron Gordon also, you know, played huge minutes and made a ton of huge plays at both ends of the floor”, said Coach Steve Clifford on what turned the game around.
Aaron Gordon played phenomenal, pouring in 27 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists, while shooting 69% from the field.
“I think it was our urgency, our energy, our physicality. And then, you know, we started moving the ball. Just the overall aggressiveness”, said Aaron Gordon on the difference from the first and the second half.
This win could very well have serious ramifications for both the Magic and the Nets in the future.
Barring an injury to the reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Milwaukee Bucks will in-all likelihood emerge out of the East as the number 1 seed while the second seeded Raptors are currently 7 games back.
With this win over the Brooklyn Nets, the Magic now have a 2-0 lead over the Nets this season with two more games left to play. Orlando currently holds the 8th seed, while Brooklyn is in position of the 7th seed.
This win brings Orlando within 2.5 games of the 7th seed meaning, if Orlando can finish this season on a strong note, a la, last season, they could find themselves avoiding the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round.
However, in the immediate future, the Magic travel to Atlanta to face off against Trae Young who’s averaging 34.3 points since the All-Star break.