I'm not going to take all the credit for the Orlando Magic ending a 10-game losing streak, their longest in nearly a decade, but following the superstition that I partook in following Wednesday's loss to the Denver Nuggets, I couldn't help but smile after Saturday's victory. Orlando finally stopped the bleeding and did so against one of the NBA's top teams, the Los Angeles Clippers, defeating them 104-101 on Saturday at the Staples Center.
"Too bad we can't play here all year," said Magic guard Arron Afflalo, who starred at UCLA before Vucevic played across town at Southern California. "I was the sour grape at the end letting guys know this only counts as one game."
Afflalo was 10 of 19 from the field for the Magic (13-23), including 3 of 3 from 3-point range, also converting 7 of 8 free throw attempts to total 30 points to go with seven rebounds and seven assists. J.J. Redick was 8 of 14 overall and 4 of 8 from behind the arc, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 42 seconds remaining, as he finished with 21 points. Nikola Vucevic added 18 points and 15 rebounds on 7 of 9 shooting, Jameer Nelson recorded 11 points and nine assists, Andrew Nicholson had eight points, and Josh McRoberts and Ish Smith notched seven points apiece.
The Clippers (28-9) saw their 13-game home winning streak come to an end despite 30 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists from Blake Griffin, who was 15 of 22 from the floor. Ryan Hollins had 13 points and DeAndre Jordan, Chris Paul, Willie Green, and Matt Barnes all registered 10 points, with Jordan also adding six boards and Paul tallying 16 assists.
Los Angeles was 43 of 88 (48.9%) from the field and 9 of 22 (40.9%) from downtown, while Orlando was 39 of 81 (48.1%) and 11 of 25 (44.0%), respectively. The Clippers were 6 of 6 (100.0%) from the free throw line and the Magic were 15 of 19 (78.9%). Both teams scored 15 points off turnovers, with Orlando committing 13 compared to nine for the hosts.
Orlando trailed 31-26 at the end of the first quarter, 57-49 at halftime, and 83-75 after the third frame, but outscored Los Angeles 29-18 in the fourth to earn the three-point win.
"Seven of our last 10 games have all been one possession games at one point or another in the last minute and we just haven't had the ball bounce our way," Redick said. "The law of averages worked out."
Orlando is at Washington on Monday at 7:00 pm on FS Florida.
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