Trailing 101-86 late in the fourth quarter, the Orlando Magic went on a 10-0 run, as J.J. Redick's 3-pointer with under a minute remaining made it 101-96. Unfortunately, the Magic could get no closer, as the Milwaukee Bucks scored six of the game's final eight points to win 107-98 on Saturday night at the Bradley Center.
"This group continues to show themselves (well). We played everybody available tonight and we needed it," Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said. "We got a lot of contributions, whether it was going for the offensive rebounds, the amount of assists or the competitive nature of every guy who stepped on that floor, it was great to see."
Milwaukee (25-21) was led by 21 points and 11 assists from Monta Ellis and 20 points from Brandon Jennings. Larry Sanders added 17 points, 13 rebounds and a game-high six blocks, while Ersan Ilyasova had 16 points and eight rebounds and Mike Dunleavy registered 11 points.
Nikola Vucevic was the leading scorer for the Magic (14-33), finishing with 20 points, 12 boards and six assists. Moe Harkless notched 19 points, 14 rebounds and a game-high four steals, J.J. Redick recorded 15 points and eight assists and Kyle O'Quinn had nine points off the bench.
The Bucks outshot Orlando 42 of 90 (46.7%) to 41 of 94 (43.6%) from the floor and 9 of 24 (37.5%) to 5 of 19 (26.3%) from behind the arc. However, the Magic out-rebounded the hosts 52-42, held a 56-50 advantage on points in the paint and dished out 32 assists compared to 26 for Milwaukee.
After being outscored 31-22 in the first quarter, Orlando won the second period 26-21. The Bucks took the third quarter 27-19, but were beaten 31-28 in the fourth.
The Magic were without starting point guard Jameer Nelson, who bruised his left forearm in a collision with Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics on Friday. E'Twaun Moore started in his place and tallied seven points, seven rebounds and six assists in 35 minutes.
"The best part of this group is that when I get to the huddle, it’s not just the coaches talking; it’s also the players being involved," Vaughn said of his team’s fighting spirit. "Having a say in what we’re doing shows that they are investing and competing. That’s the greatest part for a coach when the guys are still engaged in what we’re trying to do. That’s a good sign for us."
Orlando is at Philadelphia on Monday at 7:00 pm on FS-Florida.
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