ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Orlando opened up their 30th season at home with a 119-82 victory over Flamengo. Aaron Gordon started off hot and finished with a game high 29 points in 24 minutes of action. Nikola Vucevic chipped in with 21 points and seven rebounds in 25 minutes of action.
After a disappointing game in Philadelphia on Monday night, especially on the defensive side of the ball, the Magic held the Brazilian squad to 31% shooting from the field. They held former NBA players Anderson Varejao (Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat) and Leandro Barbosa (Phoenix Suns) to 7 for 22 shooting. Orlando forced 16 turnovers and scored 20 points off the Flamengo mistakes.
Gordon hit the ground running as he scored 11 points in the opening quarter on 4 for 5 shooting. He continued where he left off from behind the arc on Friday night. He hit 3 for 4 from downtown, playing off a season where he hit a career high in three-pointers made. Aaron also had eight rebounds and only missed two shots in the three quarters he played.
“I think part of his maturation as a player is that he has gotten better every year–his numbers are better every year and he has played better every year. It’s year five [for him] and I know he badly wants to win. He wants to take a step in terms of how is viewed as a player. He is a motivated, hard-working guy.” -Magic Head Coach Steve Clifford on Aaron Gordon’s growth
Rookie Mohamed Bamba scored 12 points and had nine rebounds in his home Magic debut. With the scoring from Bamba, the Magic had 53 points off the bench and every player that played over 15 minutes off the bench scored at least 6 points. Melvin Frazier Jr. also had 11 points off the bench.
“Tonight, what he did was make shots, but he also rebounded. He had nine rebounds. I think in Philadelphia it was tough to read because we had no post coverages. He ended up on Joel Embiid and he fouled him early. Tonight, he put the ball in the basket and played smart. He works hard. He is making good progress.”- Magic Head Coach Steve Clifford on Mo Bamba’s progress in preseason
Orlando returns to action on Monday night as they take on the Miami Heat down in in South Florida. After that they will play the final two games of preseason at home as they take on the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday, October 10th and the San Antonio Spurs on Friday, October 12th.
Danny Thompson is a sports contributor for Florida National News. | email@example.com