Five days makes a world of difference. After giving up 72 points in the paint and dropping a 121-111 clunker to the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday, the Orlando Magic turned the tables and beat Brooklyn, 115-107 on Wednesday at the Amway Center.
This was not a game where the Magic dominated the Nets. Both teams shot about the same percentage and both turned the ball over about the same number of times.
The key was a scoring burst by a new starter who took full advantage of the promotion. Jodie Meeks, who started for the injured Evan Fournier, poured in 15 points in the third quarter that helped the Magic zoom from a 50-50 halftime tie to an 86-71 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Meeks made four of seven three point attempts to finish with 20 points. His performance did not go unnoticed by his coach.
“The word I use for Jodie Meeks is ‘flammable,’ he’s a flammable player,” said Frank Vogel. “You just try to get him as many shots as you can during that period.”
Aaron Gordon had another solid 21-point game while Elfrid Payton had 22 points and 11 assists. Nikola Vucevic finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds.
Jeremy Lin led the Nets with 32 points and Chris Levert added 20. Brook Lopez was held to just 10.
The victory broke a five-game losing streak for the Magic.
While the playoffs were out of the question weeks ago, Orlando can wreck the hopes of two playoff contenders, Indiana and Chicago, over the next four days.
On Saturday, the Magic host the Indiana Pacers, who are fighting for their playoff lives. Vogel would cherish the chance to knock out the team that fired him a year ago. Orlando is 0-3 against the Pacers this year.
Orlando will be in Chicago to face the Bulls on Monday.