ORLANDO, FL – The Orlando Magic lost their second straight game in their homestead to the Sacramento Kings 121-107.
The boys in blue had a second straight slow start as the Kings came out strong physical and aggressive, keeping the Magic on their heels for most of the night.
““The first quarter was obviously the biggest problem. To me, it was our transition defense again. They had us on our heels the whole first seven, eight minutes.” said Magic Head Coach Steve Clifford “I just told the guys – the offensive rebounding is helping our offense but we don’t play with nearly the discipline (that’s necessary). We need to do both right now.”
The Kings had the advantage of being off since last Friday due to games being cancelled in Memphis against the Grizzlies due to COVID-19 protocol.
They had a fresh energy that the Magic, this being their fifth game in eight nights, could not muster up matching energy.
All five of the Kings starters scored in double digits, with Bobby Hield (29 points) and Harrison Barnes (21 points) leading the way. De’arron Fox scored 16 with 10 assists.
Nikola Vucevic and Evan Fourier managed to score 26 and 25 points respectively, but they were not match for the Kings who went 30 for 45 with 14 3-point shots, including seven by Bobby Hield.
Aaron Gordon was held to only three points, and Cole Anthony scored seven, with 6 assists.
But the Magic committed 14 turnovers, and were out of place and in wrong spots throughout the game. Passes to no one, short shots, being out battled for rebounds and being out hustled altogether, it didn’t add up to a good night for Orlando.
At the start of the game, Orlando quickly found themselves down 11 points. Thought the night, they battled back against leads, only to be falling behind, at some points by over 20 points.
This team does have a no quit attitude, but with such a slow start, it wasn’t able to fully catch up.
Khem Birch continues to prove that he is “Mr Enregy” on the floor, scrapping for calls and rebounds and providing thunderous put backs on missed shots. Birch scored 8 points, but had a career high 14 rebounds, including 10 on the offensive side.
But as the game progressed, the sloppy play, bad fouls, and ineffective transition defense did them in.
“We’re a good team with good players” said Clifford “But us to win we need everybody. We can’t have five guys be good and five guys not, or six and three. We need everybody. That’s just the facts.”
The Magic next face the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday at The Amway Center at 7 pm