Magic beat tired Nets for 3rd win in a row 119-106

ORLANDO, FL – The Orlando Magic faced off against the Brooklyn Nets at The Amway Center on Sunday evening.

Orlando, Florida, USA, March 26, 2023, Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero #5 attempt to score during the second half at the Amway Center. (Photo Credit: Marty Jean-Louis)

Orlando, winners of three of their last four games, gave the playoff-bound Nets everything that they could handle.

Mikel Bridges did most of the scoring for Brooklyn in the first half, with 22 of the Nets 51 points in the first half.

The Magic got strong efforts from Wendell Carter Jr. as well as Jalen Suggs, who returned to the floor after missing multiple games with a concussion, scoring 12 pts.

Orlando took a grip on the game in the second quarter. After going back and forth with Brooklyn in the first quarter, Orlando’s defense started getting stops, which opened up their fast break offense on the other side. Orlando outscored the Nets 36-26 in the second quarter, and continued in the third quarter 32-23.

The Magic outran the Nets 21-04 in fast breaks in the first half, and 21-10 in the game. 

Orlando, Florida, USA, March 26, 2023, Brooklyn Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie #26 attempt to score during the first half at the Amway Center. (Photo Credit: Marty Jean-Louis)

Meanwhile, while Bridges went on a tear for Brooklyn, scoring 44 points for the Nets on the game. Spencer Dinwiddie was held to a putrid 2 points for the game, and Dorian Finney-Smith as well, only 2 points.

Meanwhile, the Magic had 8 players in double digits, including 21 points for Cole Anthony, 19 for Fran Wager, who returned tot the floor after an ankle sprain, and 18 points for Carter Jr.

Orlando dominated in the paint on the night, scoring 58 points to the Nets 38 in the game.

One reason might be that dreaded Miami hangover.

The Nets beat the tough Miami Heat on Saturday night 129-100. Let’s see, Miami, Saturday night, and a win. Maybe too much gas was spent on Saturday, so they showed up close to empty here in Orlando.

Nets coach Jacque Vaughn on outscoring the Magic in the first quarter; what happened in the second and third quarters:

Orlando, Florida, USA, March 26, 2023, Brooklyn Nets small forward Mikal Bridges #1 shoots a three in the first half at the Amway Center. (Photo Credit: Marty Jean-Louis)

“Really, we didn’t make shots. If you want to boil it down to one particular thing. ” Said Vaughn “I think besides Mikal (Bridges) we were two for twenty-six from three besides Mikal (Bridges)-So, we were searching, trying to find ways to score the basketball. Tough back-to-back for us.”

Many of the Nets shots early in the game dinked on the front of the rim, showing tired legs.

Orlando has been working hard on learning the lessons that head coach Jamahl Mosley has been teaching. Basics like good defense creating good offensive  opportunities, playing by committee, and working with a next man p mentality when players go down.

“I think that’s great” Said Mosley when asked about his teams offensive effort in the game. “The ability to share the basketball and obviously guys made shots. But just our willingness to trust the pass. You know obviously in the first half it stuck a little bit. You know, we turned it over. But I think down the stretch we did a great job of moving it, sharing it and trusting each other.”

This may be the youngest team in the NBA but the lessons that they have learned over these two seasons have been a first class education on playing and winning in the NBA.

The Magic are more and more unflappable in tough situation, and play with a resilience that started way back in the Steve Clifford-coached day. They are learning and they are growing, game by game. 

the Magic head out on the road to face Memphis on Tuesday and Washington on Friday, before coming home to face the Detroit Pistons on 

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