Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Magic fall in OT to Nuggets, who win 7th straight

Isaiah Thomas Nuggets beat Magic in overtime for 7th straight win
Cassandra Castillo | 08 December, 2018, 08:43

"It's the same thing every day, man", Orlando swingman Evan Fournier said. "We're a team that never complains and we never get the calls". Denver got to the line with aggressive inside play but did not make them pay. Neither team led by more than six points during the final three quarters. Thomas would likely prefer a starting gig, but on an outstanding Nuggets team, he will likely play a key role off the bench.

"It's amusing, I was looking at his stats the last five games, we won five in a row, he was averaging 12 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, but his field goal percentage, three-point percentage are not what we expect from Nikola". The Nuggets missed 14 free throws, six more than the Magic attempted.

"It's disgusting", Magic forward Aaron Gordon answered when he was asked about the free-throw discrepancy. "We've been a lot better on the road than we have been at home". "We took them, but we should've driven the ball more".

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The crowd erupted when a replay showed Murray stepping out of bounds with the ball just before being fouled with 20.8 seconds left in overtime. Fournier thought the Nuggets' luck took a different form, resulting in their 37 foul shots to Orlando's eight. Harris was slated for an MRI before Wednesday's game and will not play. It was Orlando's worst showing on a 3-3 road trip that ended with Tuesday's 105-90 victory in Miami and included a win over the Los Angeles Lakers and close losses to the Golden State Warriors and Portland Trail Blazers. That night, Orlando shot just 40 percent from the floor and got hammered on the offensive glass - two areas of concern coming into Wednesday's game. Murray missed a short jumper just before the buzzer, taking the game into overtime. I'm sure it would have been much better if we had won, but we did put up a much better effort than we did in Denver. The Magic will be action next on Friday night when they face the Indiana Pacers at the Amway Center. Orlando drilled eight of 11 3-point shots in the third quarter, but it fell behind because of the play of lesser-known Nuggets such as Morris and Beasley.

Now, after struggling defensively all night and getting badly outscored from the free throw line, the Magic must try and pick up the pieces so that they can start another winning streak.

"What I love about Nikola and our team is that even though he's not playing maybe the best he's capable of we're still finding ways to win, still relying on defence, and he's finding ways to impact the team other ways than shooting and that's the sign of a good team". It's the National Basketball Association - you have a good win and you feel good and then (the schedule-makers) say, 'Come on back home, Denver is waiting.' We're going to have to be ready. "But they came out on top and we've got to be better". All opinions expressed by John Denton are exclusively his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Orlando Magic or their Basketball Operations staff, partners or sponsors.

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