Oct 31, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Orlando Magic guard Markelle Fultz (20) moves the ball against Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George (13) during the second half at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando Magic fall to Brooklyn Nets in In-Season Tournament debut

Basketball is a game of all four quarters. Unfortunately for the Magic, they did not get that memo.

On Tuesday night, Orlando headed north to the Barclays Center to take on the Nets. In their In-Season Tournament debut, things did not go according to plan for the “407” as the Magic fell 124-104 to Brooklyn.

Fourth Quarter Fallout for Magic

Despite leading 60-57 at halftime and only being down two at the end of the third, the Magic simply collapsed when it mattered most.

The Nets took over the fourth quarter from the get go by outscoring the Magic 22-9 to start off Q4. Spencer Dinwiddie led the way with 29 points and nine assists, 12 of those points coming in the final 12 minutes of the game.

As great Dinwiddie was on Tuesday, the Magic’s lack of protection of the rock is what caused their demise.

“We talk about not beating ourselves, and 16 turnovers for 27 points is not going to get the job done,” Orlando Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley told reporters. “That’s just a very simple fact. You turn the ball over 16 times for 27 points, you lose by 20. You’re not giving yourself a chance there.”

Brooklyn would go on to get a season-high of 13 steals to close out the game. On top of the turnovers, Orlando did not do themselves any favors by shooting 6 for 21 in the last period.

Nets Defy Expectations

After Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving jumped ship, everyone believed that Brooklyn would be in the lottery sweepstakes. However, the Nets have chosen to ignore those predictions.

As mentioned, Dinwiddie put on a scoring display. But he was not alone in that venture as Mikal Bridges had 21 and Cam Johnson scored 20.

With the Big 3 of Durant, Irving and Harden blowing up, it appears that the Nets may have found their next trio. The threesome is averaging a combined 47.1 points per game and have played pivotal roles in getting Brooklyn to 6-5.

Optimistic Orlando

Although the Magic lost and are at .500, there is something for the Orlando hopeful to look forward too.

Sophomore Paolo Banchero has started right where he left off last year. After winning ROY in the previous NBA season, Banchero has averaged 18.9 PPG, 6.9 RPG and 5.3 APG.

In the loss, the 2022 No. 1 overall pick had 19 points. Right next to him was his co-star Franz Wagner who had 21 points and eight rebounds.

The performance of the pair of Wagner and Banchero is what has led the team to success this season. Additionally, players like Jalen Suggs, Anthony Black and Cole Anthony have been big factors in the Magic’s five wins. But the trio only scored 22 combined against Brooklyn.

Up Next for Magic

The Magic will face the Bulls at the United Center tonight at 8 p.m. This is not an In-Season Tournament game, however, Orlando will play Chicago again on Friday in their second game of their tournament play.

In order for the O-Town to move on to the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, the team will most likely need to win out due to only one squad being able to come out of the East C group.

About Miguel Molina

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