The Orlando Magic have had a few inspiring wins this season as well as some demoralizing losses. Their 102-84 blowout loss to the Phoenix Suns on Friday may top the list of the latter.
It is one thing to lose a game, but being throttled at home to the 16-46 Suns is unacceptable to the players, their coaches and to their fans. This one is tough to swallow.
The Magic had trouble with their shooting touch in all phases. They made only 35 percent of their shots, including 26 percent from three-point range. Orlando took only 14 free throw attempts and made only seven.
Phoenix shot 45 percent and took a whopping 39 free throws, making 27. The Magic were overpowered and were unable to defend without fouling. Both teams made 35 field goals, but the 20-point difference at the line proved decisive.
The Suns broke away from a 29-29 first quarter tie to a 58-50 lead at the half. They broke the game open with a 26-16 advantage in the third quarter to take an 84-66 advantage. Orlando never got closer than 14 points the rest of the way.
The victory broke a 17-game road losing streak for Phoenix. They improved to 5-25 away from home.
Alex Len led the Suns with 31 points, a career high. Devin Booker and Ronnie Price each had 14.
Elfrid Payton had 19 points for Orlando. Nikola Vucevic had a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Magic Coach Scott Skiles saw plenty that troubled him.
“They were much more physical than us and we never did respond,” said Skiles. “It is very disappointing. It’s a game we had to have.”
The Magic fell to 27-34 and makes the task of getting into the playoff hunt that much more difficult. They head west on Monday to face the 55-5 Golden State Warriors, who are 26-0 at home this year.