ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – On a night where almost every Magic player on the court scored at least a point, the Orlando Magic continued their winning ways at home by defeating the Memphis Grizzlies by the score of 102-86. Aaron Gordon and the returning Jonathan Isaac led the Magic with 15 points apiece.
” So I mean, without watching the film, I would say by far out best game. More balance, good stretches of defense, team defense and then even though our offensive number aren’t going to show it, I think our ball movement was really good.”- Magic Head Coach Steve Clifford on Orlando’s effort on Wednesday night
Even though the Magic won by 16 points, it could have been a bigger margin if the team would have had a better night from the free throw line. Orlando missed 8 of their first 9 free throw attempts and finished the game 20 for 40 ( 50%). Even with the struggles from the line, the Magic had a 27-point lead at one point in the third quarter.
The big story of the game was the number of fouls committed by both teams. They combined for 54 fouls, which led to the teams attempting 62 free throws. Even with the high number of fouls being called, the Magic’s defense held Memphis big man Marc Gasol to only 10 points on for 2-9 shooting in the 30 minutes he played.
In his first game back since injuring his ankle last week, Isaac show little effects when he was on the floor. Besides 15 points, he contributed eight rebounds and showed Magic fans signs of his defensive prowess by adding a block and having two steals. The only drawback was he was on a minute restriction and that lead to him playing 17 minutes.
“He makes simple plays on offense, he’s always in the right spots, he’s very smart, he doesn’t overplay and then his defense, both his individual but his team defense is so good. So even before he made the shots, I mean making shots is a big part of this, but he’s just a good player.” – Magic Head Coach Steve Clifford on Jonathan Issac
Orlando was without prized rookie Mohamed Bamba (wrist injury), Jonathon Simmons (personal reasons), Terrance Ross (knee) and Timofey Mozgov (coaches’ decision) on Wednesday night. Without three guys who will play key roles in the rotation as the season starts next week, it allowed players like Jarell Martin (pictured above) and Khem Burch to have more time on the court.
Martin, who played for the Grizzlies last season, had 9 points and 6 rebounds in his 26 minutes off the bench. Burch, who earned minutes off in rotation last season, showed off his extended range from the perimeter and scored 8 points and 4 rebounds in his 23 minutes.
Mike Conley Jr. led all scorers in the game with 24 points on 9-14 shooting. Former Lake Brantley High School and University of Florida Gators small forward Chandler Parsons scored 4 points in 18 minutes of action.
Orlando will finish off pre-season play on Friday night at home against the San Antonio Spurs at 7pm.
Danny Thompson is a sports contributor for Florida National News. | firstname.lastname@example.org