Magic re­vive late, re­pel Wizards

Orlando Sentinel - - SPORTS WEEKEND - By Chris Hays

D.J. Au­gustin hit a 3-pointer with just over two min­utes re­main­ing, then set up Ter­rence Ross for an­other score with 1:50 left and made a steal shortly af­ter that to get the crowd go­ing at Amway Cen­ter.

Nikola Vuce­vic then had a huge blocked shot and Evan Fournier buried a crit­i­cal 3-pointer with 47 sec­onds re­main­ing and the Or­lando Magic came alive late to es­cape with a 117-108 vic­tory over the Wash­ing­ton Wizards on night.

It was just enough mo­men­tum for the Magic to over­come a Wizards rally that had all but wiped away a 25-point Or­lando third quar­ter. That lapse cer­tainly will not make coach Steve Clif­ford happy, as he has con­tin­ued to watch the Magic re­lin­quish big leads this sea­son. He wanted his team to keep its foot on the ac­cel­er­a­tor once it got some mo­men­tum and the Magic did that Fri­day night for a while.

But then the Wizards stormed Fri­day back and got within 106-105 with 2:30 left.

The Magic, who im­proved to 5-7, were led by Vuce­vic’s 21 points and 14 re­bounds. Aaron Gor­don added 20 points, Mo­hamed Bamba and Fournier had 15 points each, Je­rian Grant chipped in 13 points off the bench, Ross had 12 points and Au­gustin had 11. The Magic shot 51 per­cent from the field.

Or­lando opened the game slug­gish, but the starters re­gained com­po­sure af­ter fall­ing be­hind by 11 points early.

Then the bench play­ers took over. At one point just be­fore half­time, the Magic had hit 60 per­cent of their field goals, in­clud­ing 63 per­cent from 3-point range (7 of 11).

The Magic beefed up their lead to as many as 25 points in the third quar­ter.

The Wizards started to rally, but Or­lando re­cov­ered just in time to avoid an­other loss.

Or­lando now hits the road to play at the New York Knicks on Sun­day and then get a re­match with the Wizards on Mon­day.

JOHN RAOUX/AP

The Or­lando Magic’s Evan Fournier, left, makes a shot in front of the Wash­ing­ton Wizards’ Jeff Green on Fri­day night.

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