Grizzlies fall to Magic 119-107 for sixth straight loss
ORLANDO, Fla. – Nikola Vucevic scored 25 points off the bench, Victor Oladipo and Evan Fournier added 22 points each and the Orlando Magic topped the struggling Memphis Grizzlies 119-107 on Sunday night.
The Grizzlies, trying to hold onto the fifth seed in the Western Conference, have lost six straight games for their longest skid since November 2009. Memphis (41-36) held just a half-game lead over Portland for the fifth spot heading into Sunday night's action.
Orlando, meanwhile, has won three straight games at home and four of its last five. The Magic (33-44) continued their offensive surge that had seen them average more than 118 points in their previous four games heading into Sunday.
Memphis was led by Matt Barnes, who had 24 points. Zach Randolph added 15 points.
The Magic, who led by as many as 20 in the third, shot 48 percent from the field and converted 10 3-pointers.
The Grizzlies did attempt to make a run late in the fourth quarter, cutting the margin to 10 points. But Aaron Gordon and Oladipo both came up with big baskets late to give the Magic room.
Gordon scored 14 points for the Magic, while Andrew Nicholson came off the bench to add 10 points.
The Magic increased their lead to 20 in the third quarter, but Memphis took advantage of its weak defensive interior to cut the lead to 97-85. Tony Allen both had a couple of baskets in the paint to allow the Grizzlies to cut into Orlando's once comfortable lead in the third.
With Vucevic leading the way off the bench, the Magic took a 67-56 lead over Memphis into halftime. Vucevic led all scorers with 17 points on 8-of-11 shooting. Fournier and Oladipo also had 12 points each in the first half, while Matt Barnes led the Grizzlies with 12 points off his 4-of-5 shooting from 3-point range.
The Magic shot 54 percent from the field and 46 percent from 3-point range in the opening half, compared to 49 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3-point range by the Grizzlies.
After a close opening quarter, the Magic used a strong start to the second to provide some breathing room. Vucevic scored six straight points to spark a 6-0 run for the Magic to begin the second quarter, giving them a 35-30 advantage with 10:21 left in the first half. Orlando's biggest lead of the half was 11 points.
Memphis: Memphis' six-game losing streak is their longest since November 2009 when it lost seven straight.
Orlando: Vucevic came off the bench for the third straight time since returning from a groin injury last week. Coach Scott Skiles said bringing Vucevic off the bench allows him to better monitor his minutes and it also gives him time to play his way back into playing shape after missing time out of the lineup. ... The Magic outscored Memphis 32-22 in the paint in the first half. They also outscored Memphis 15-4 on fast-break points, primarily on the strength of eight Grizzlies turnovers in the first two quarters. ... Skiles said Oladipo injured his ankle against Milwaukee and was a game-time decision, but started.
Memphis: Hosting Chicago on Tuesday.
Orlando: Hosting Detroit on Wednesday.