It’s been a tough for the Orlando Magic since they’ve returned to play since the NBA All-Star break. Despite returning some key players to the lineup, Monday night in Oklahoma City was another example of how good and bad Orlando can be at times.

The Magic kept up with the Thunder for most of the contest, but couldn’t overcome a 26-point night from Oklahoma City’s Paul George in a 112-105 loss Monday at Chesapeake Energy Arena. With the loss, Orlando now drops to 18-42 on the season and remain 14th in the Eastern Conference standings.

Orlando will return home on Wednesday night when they host the Eastern Conference-leading Toronto Raptors. The matchup will begin a 3-game home stand for the Magic. The Magic will also host Detroit and Memphis, respectively.

”Our guys competed,” Orlando Magic coach Frank Vogel said about the loss. ”Their second unit just came in and did really well. They moved the basketball really well and created open looks. They just outplayed us.”

Bench play was key for Oklahoma City, as the Thunder had four players come in and score in double figures. Point guard Raymond Felton led the Thunder’s bench with 13 points.

Orlando’s bench in comparison was just not able to keep up, as the Magic were outscored 48-24. Shelvin Mack and Bismack Biyombo both scored seven points off the bench for the Magic.

Not the same could be said for Orlando’s first unit, which did a good job on Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony, whom combined for 17 points on a mere 7-of-27 shooting from the field. The Magic’s starters all scored in double digits, including Evan Fournier and Jonathan Simmons both scoring 19 points apiece. Forward Aaron Gordon also had a solid night for Orlando, scoring 18 points and grabbing seven rebounds.

About The Author

Andy Villamarzo has covered high school and youth sports for the Tampa Bay Times and The Tampa Tribune as a correspondent since 2008. He is a native of Holiday, FL, who graduated from Gulf High School and studied at St. Petersburg College. He has covered various prep, collegiate and professional athletes throughout his writing career, including Josh Johnson (Jacksonville Jaguars), Patrick Schuster (Arizona Diamondbacks) and currently writes for other publications like The Suncoast News, Friday Night Football Magazine and TopDrawerSoccer.com.

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