Once holding a 16-point lead, the Orlando Magic struggled to white-knuckle their advantage heading into the fourth quarter. At one point, the Magic were approaching the 10 minute mark without a field goal — it was quite the skid after posting 32 points in the second quarter.
The Magic needed to find a source of production. And they needed to find it fast. Cue Markelle Fultz.
After spending most of last season on the bench and in the training room while rehabing a shoulder injury, Fultz began to fade from headlines. But on Monday night, he quickly resurfaced after providing the Magic with the spark they needed in the fourth quarter to lift his team to a 101-89 win over the Brooklyn Nets.
Though his night started with an air ball, it’s Fultz’s insurance three-ball that will stick in the minds of NBA fans. Capping off a personal 7-0 run with six minutes to play, Fultz drained a corner three to give the Magic a permanent advantage.
With the help of his 7-0 run, Fultz finished the night with a career-high 25 points.
“Big win for us. Big career night for me. And the biggest thing is that we got the win.” – Markelle Fultz
With another bizarre outing, Nikola Vucevic didn’y tally a single point until midway through the third quarter. He did, however, gather an impressive 24 boards en route to recording a double-double. While finding his offensive rhythm proved to be tedious, Vucevic eventually finished with 11 points and 24 rebounds.
Defensively, the Magic fared well considering they held the Nets to shooting just 33.3% from the field. Brooklyn also struggled from downtown after knocking down just 10 of their 47 three-point attempts. Though the Nets forced Orlando to turn the ball over 20 times and collected a nice handful of offensive rebounds, the Nets’ cold shooting prevented them from capitalizing on their opportunities.
With the win, the Magic improve to 17-20 on the season and sit in the middle of the Eastern Conference standings at number seven.
Looking ahead, Orlando hosts the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.