Man oh man, this one was another tough one.
The Magic beat the Grizzlies in Orlando 119-107, in a game that in my opinion was rather over by halftime. The Grizzlies didn't fade, but it also wasn't THAT much of a challenge either. It was 30-29 Grizzlies by the end of the first quarter, but the Magic quickly took over the the second half and the lead by halftime, 67-56. The Magic outscored the Grizzlies by one in the third quarter and then the scoring was even by the forth, and that my friends was the ball game. This was the Grizzlies 6th straight loss for their longest losing streak since way back in 2009. The Magic on the other hand have been quietly on a tear, winning their last three at home and four of their last five.
The Grizzlies were led by Matt Barnes, who had 24 points and five rebounds with five of the Grizzlies eight three pointers knocked in for good measure. Zach Randolph had another poor shooting night with 15 points, but on 5-15 shooting. Randolph also had 7 rebounds and 7 assists. Chris Andersen only had 2 points and 3 rebounds in 15+ mins of work. And Jordan Farmar could only muster 2 points and 3 assists in the same 15+ min stint this afternoon. Lance Stephenson and JaMychal Green each had 11, and Tony Allen and Xavier Mumford each put in 10 points apiece, but ultimately it was just a particularly saddening sub-par effort for the Grizzlies today, as they played to me with no sense of urgency and no particular concern to end this recent slide as they fight to keep a solid 5th place in this western conference playoff chase. Orlando led by as many as 20 and as you can see the Grizzlies could get no closer than 12, and weren't really in the game down the stretch.
Points: Matt Barnes- 24 points
Rebounds: JaMychal Green- 10 rebounds
Assists: Zach Randolph- 7 assists
The Magic were led by Nikola Vucevic, who had 25 points and 10 rebounds OFF THE BENCH in 32 mins of action. Vucevic was a beast tonight, totally dominating the frontcourt of the Grizzlies (except for JaMychal Green, who matched him in the rebounds department. Victor Oladipo and Evan Fournier each added 22 points, Aaron Gordon had 14, and even though Elfrid Payton only ended up with 7 points on 2-8 shooting, his presence was felt as a floor leader by his 11 assists.
Points: Nikola Vucevic- 25 points
Rebounds: Nikola Vucevic- 10 rebounds
Assists: Elfrid Payton- 11 assists.
The 33-44 Magic play the Pistons next on Wednesday. Your 41-36 Grizzlies (who have now slipped to 6th in the Western Conference) play the Bulls on Tuesday. Let's hope that is the game that they snap out of their losing streak.