Magic end preseason with loss
ORLANDO — Orlando Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn said his goal for the final preseason game was for no one to get hurt. He accomplished that, but the Magic showed little in terms of efficiency losing 108-92 to the Houston Rockets at the Amway Center, Friday night in front of about 17,109.
The Magic went into the game with yet another starting lineup indicating that they are still working on the final starting lineup for the start of the regular season next Friday. The opening quarter started off with the Rockets getting a few unanswered baskets to take an early lead, with shooting guard Kevin Martin leading the way with 9 points in the first quarter.
The Magic would go on to have a 13-4 run in the first quarter to keep them close on the scoreboard with most points coming on second chance opportunities and Rocket turnovers leading to points in transition.
In the second quarter, the Rockets picked up where they left off unselfish play and the Magic having lapses on defense led to Houston going on a 13-1 run in the first seven minutes with most points coming from reserve forward Carlos Delfino who was 3-3, all three uncontested, from the 3 point line in that span.
“I think the teams most glaring weakness that we showed was transition defense. Make or miss they were able to get the ball up the floor and create scoring opportunities,” said Vaughn.
Orlando was able to play its way back into the game on the strong play of Glen Davis like it has much of the preseason. Davis who had 8 points in the quarter led the way with his strong play in the paint and ability to draw fouls going 4-4 from the line in the second period. The Rockets ended the quarter on a 10-1 run taking a 55-41 lead going into the half.
Coming out of the half, Houston looked to take control of the game coming out and and continuing to hold the Magic scoreless in the first 5 minutes of the third period. The Magic looked slow on defense failing to switch on wide open shooters and on offense the team couldn’t establish any rhythm settling for jump shots instead of getting to the basket.
“I remember telling the guys we were getting a little jump shot happy and you have to have the ability to not only shoot jump shots but attack the rim and our ability to attack the rim just wasn’t there,” said Vaughn.
With the about 5 minutes left in the third quarter and the score being 72-47, the game was almost certainly out of reach for the Magic, both teams inserted their second teams into the game leaving the reserves to finish off the game.
The Magic finish off the preseason 2-6 and look for better results as they open the regular season next Friday at home against the Denver Nuggets.
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