ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – After having their best performance of the short preseason Wednesday night, the Orlando Magic started off slow and couldn’t find their rhythm Friday. Because of the slow start, the Magic end their preseason with a 100-81 loss to the San Antonio Spurs with a 2-3 record.
Even though the Magic had the services of Mohamed Bamba, Jonathon Simmons and Terrance Ross, they couldn’t find a way to score points in the early going. They managed only 10 points on 16% shooting in the opening quarter. They finished shooting 37.1% from the field for the entire game. The team’s leading scorer in the preseason, Aaron Gordon, didn’t make his first shot until the final quarter. He finished missing 11 of his 13 attempts and scoring only 4 points.
“…I thought the starters’ ball movement was pretty good and then we broke the lineup…I mean we just struggled, struggled to get good shots. We had one stretch in the third quarter which was a little bit better…but obiviously the starters were good and again the bench guys struggled.” – Orlando Magic Head Coach Steve Clifford on the team’s shot selection
San Antonio was led by their All-Star duo of DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge. DeRozan scored a team-high 20 points and did most of his damage from the free throw line as he hit 9 of his 12 attempts. Aldridge finished with a double-double of 13 points and 15 rebounds.
This game was seen as a dress rehearsal as both teams begin their seasons next week. Orlando, for the second consecutive game, struggled from the free throw line. After missing half of their 40 attempts on Wednesday, they only missed 10 on Friday. But they didn’t get to the line as many times; they attempted 17 free throws.
“Well, because there’s no ball movement and there’s a lack of organization with that group. They were blowing sets, very disorganized and quick shots and especially in stretches where we didn’t put a lot of pressure on the defense, taking some shots with no penetration, no rolls, no cuts, nothing that’s going to allow you to create gaps to drive it or get the ball going to the basket…”- Steve Clifford on the lack of movement on offense
Orlando was led by Evan Fournier who had a game-high 23 points on 9 for 17 shooting and also added 4 rebounds and 4 assists in 30 minutes. Bamba started off slow, netting 15 points and 9 rebounds off the bench.
Orlando will open up their 30th Season in the NBA on Wednesday Night against their in-state rivals the Miami Heat. The game tip-off is set for 7pm at Amway Center.
Danny Thompson is a sports contributor for Florida National News. | firstname.lastname@example.org