On the back end of a home-and-home mini-series against the Atlanta Hawks, the Orlando Magic got even. After dropping one against the team who boasts the second-best record in the Eastern Conference the night prior, the Magic were able to make some big plays down the stretch, including a clutch game-winner by Tobias Harris, to beat the Hawks 100-99
Things didn’t start out particularly well for the Magic. Unlike starting the game on fire against the Hawks on Friday night, the Magic couldn’t find a rhythm. Thanks to the Hawks playing smothering defense, the Magic turned the ball over 10 times in the first quarter. That trend wouldn’t last long as the Magic played much better in the second quarter. Taking better care of the ball, the Magic committed just five turnovers. The ball moved extremely well, as the Magic were able to tally 17 assists on 21 field goals. However, the Hawks, thanks to making six first-half threes, still led 48 to 47 heading into halftime despite the Magic shooting 55.3 percent in the half.
The Hawks took a quick five-point lead on the Magic coming out of the half. However, the Magic answered with an 11-1 run to take a five-point lead themselves in the third period. The game would then turn into a free-throw shooting contest, as the Hawks would go to the line 22 times, making 17 shots at the charity stripe. The intensity would rise exponentially in the fourth, as both teams went blow-for-blow in the final minutes of the game. After Tobias Harris got fouled and split free-throws, Kyle Korver nearly won the game for the Hawks by draining a huge three with 3.4 left. Tobias would have the last laugh, as he received an inbound pass, took it to the elbow, and drained the game winning shot at the buzzer.
Tobias Harris led the Magic with 20 points, including the game winning bucket. Evan Fournier followed that up with 19 points of his own. Returning to the parquet floor after missing six games, Nikola Vucevic had a double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds. Victor Oladipo struggled at first, but turned in a respectable 15 points and 7 assists. Ben Gordon with another great performance off the bench, tallying 12 points.
The Magic travel to the Great North to face Kyle Lowry and the Eastern Conference-best Toronto Raptors