The Phoenix Suns have not won many games, especially on the road. On Wednesday night, however, they improved on both percentages when they beat the Orlando Magic 92-87 at the Amway Center.
Phoenix won for only the fifth time in 16 games and improved their road record to 3-8. They were also playing their sixth consecutive road game, disposing of the thought the Suns might have been out of gas for this one.
In the end, they had plenty of fuel.
Orlando seemed to be in catch up mode for much of the game. After the Suns took a 12-point lead in the second quarter, the Magic fought back to trail by only 44-42 at half time.
After an even third quarter, the Suns took an 85-78 lead with 2:11 remaining. While the Magic made one last run to get within 88-85, Phoenix had enough left in the tank to hold on for the win.
If there was any good news, it was the strong play of Nikola Vucevic, who looked like the player the Magic are accustomed to seeing on a regular basis. He had a strong double-double with 21 points and 13 rebounds. Evan Fournier, Orlando’s most consistent player this year, had 25 points to lead the Magic.
It was not a great night for other starters. Serge Ibaka and Jeff Green combined for only eight points. Bismack Biyombo collected seven rebounds off the bench, but was scoreless. None of the three were on the court as the Magic made their last push.
Offense continues to be a problem. Through the first 14 games, Orlando has scored 100 points only four times.
Shooting has been the main culprit and Wednesday night provided yet another example. The Magic shot only 36 percent from the field and only 28 percent from three-point range.
“We didn’t have a great flow and we had several possessions where we created a good shot,but didn’t knock it down,” said Magic Coach Frank Vogel.
Prior to Wednesday’s game, Phoenix had held only one team under 100 points. The Magic’s effort marks the fewest points against the Suns this season.
Defensively, the Magic held Phoenix to their lowest point total of the season. The Suns average 110 points per game, but Wednesday’s game was only the third time they had not scored 100 and marked their lowest output of the year.
“We’re doing what we need to do on the defensive end,” said Vogel. “We just have to make some shots and find a better offensive rhythm.”
The Magic host the Washington Wizards on Friday night in the second game of a three-game home stand.