If Orlando could play the way they did on Wednesday night the entire 2017-2018 campaign, the Magic’s season might’ve went a little differently. Orlando matched up against playoff contending Milwaukee and it teased fans with the what ifs and what could’ve been scenarios.
The Magic put together one of their best performances of the entire season, with Jonathan Simmons and D.J. Augustin combining for 67 points en route to Orlando defeating Milwaukee 126-117 at the Amway Center. Orlando now improves to 21-48 on the season and will play again at home tomorrow night versus the injury-riddled Boston Celtics.
With the win, Orlando coach Frank Vogel notched his 300th career victory in the NBA, amid rumors of the bench boss potentially being ousted after the season concludes. The Magic just wrapped up what was a brutal West Coast swing of games.
”It’s a zombie game when you come back from the West Coast into a back-to-back, and the guys just don’t have it in their legs to make shots, and in their minds to focus,” Vogel said. ”Our guys played mentally tough and got a difficult W.”
On a night that was special for Vogel was equally memorable for Simmons and Augustin, whom both powered Orlando offensively for most of the evening. Also jumping in on the action was Orlando center Nikola Vucevic, who added 22 points for the Magic.
Orlando was extremely effective shooting from the outside, with the Magic connecting on 18-of-34 from 3-point territory despite not having the services of Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon, who is still sidelined in concussion protocol. Tuesday’s blowout loss to the San Antonio Spurs helped infuse some motivation for Orlando to bounce back, according to Augustin.
”(Tuesday night) was a tough game for us, but it happens to the best of us,” Augustin said about the Spurs’ game. ”We put it behind us, went out there and shared the ball, helped each other out on defense and played with a lot more energy.”