Saturday, February 24, 2018
Sports

Magic follows big win with flop

ATLANTA — The Orlando Magic just cannot sustain positive momentum.

It played well Friday night in a win over the Raptors. But it was atrocious Saturday night in a 113-86 loss to the Hawks.

The discrepancy between how Orlando played Friday and Saturday is emblematic of how incapable the team is at stringing together solid performances.

Magic perimeter defenders didn't keep Atlanta drivers in front of them, and Magic big men didn't protect the rim when the Hawks drove into the lane.

Orlando coach Frank Vogel called his team's effort on defense "terrible."

"It's disappointing. It's just disappointing," Vogel said. "There's no other word for it."

Atlanta's second possession of the game was a case in point. Tim Hardaway Jr. came off a screen, received a pass from Dennis Schroder then barreled down the center of the lane for an emphatic dunk. None of the Magic's interior defenders even challenged Hardaway.

The Magic's defense was so hapless that Vogel called three full timeouts in the first half and used his 20-second timeout to try to stop runs.

The Hawks sank 13 of their first 16 shots to take a 29-16 lead.

"They were in a rhythm," said Orlando's Aaron Gordon, who had 16 points. "We had a good game plan and we didn't execute it defensively as a whole."

GAME HIGHLIGHTS: Hassan Whiteside had 30 points and 20 rebounds, Dion Waiters needed only 10 shots to score 21 and the host Heat won their 10th straight, 125-102 over the 76ers. Former FSU and Clearwater High standout Okaro White, whose second 10-day contract ends today, had five points in 25 minutes for Miami. … John Wall had 24 points and 13 assists, Markieff Morris scored 18 and the host Wizards held New Orleans scoreless for the final 5:52 of the fourth quarter to beat the Pelicans 105-91 for their seventh straight win. … Paul George scored 21, helping the host Pacers extend their season-best winning streak to six games with a 105-84 victory over the Pistons. … LeBron James had 32 points and 10 assists, Kevin Love added 23 points and 16 rebounds in his return from back spasms and the visiting Cavaliers beat the Knicks 111-104.

AROUND THE LEAGUE: Timberwolves shooting guard Zach LaVine will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL in his left knee. … Rookie point guard Yogi Ferrell plans to sign a two-year minimum deal with the Mavericks when his 10-day contract expires Tuesday, ESPN reported. … Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving sat out with right quad soreness. … The Warriors finalized a 10-day contract with point guard Briante Weber.

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