Magic fall to Grizzlies, Oladipo continues to improve


Joshua C. Cruey / Orlando Sentinel / MCT

Magic guard Victor Oladipo finished the game with 22 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists.

Victor Oladipo led all scorers with 22 points on the night, but it wasn’t enough as the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Orlando Magic 97-91 on Friday, Oct. 18 in front of an announced attendance of 13,041 at the Amway Center.

Oladipo scored 9 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter, while Kyle O’Quinn added 7 points of his own in replacement of Nik Vucevic, who fouled out in the 3rd quarter.

The rookie guard out of Indiana played 29 minutes for the game and showed the high energy level of play that helped get him to the NBA. Oladipo’s 22 points was a career high for the 2nd overall pick who’s played at least 20 minutes in all five preseason games thus far.

“That’s what got me here, playing with high energy on both ends of the floor,” said Oladipo after the game about his play on the court. “So I’m just going to continue to keep going.”

Oladipo’s high energy style of play is something Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn likes to see from his young guard and he doesn’t plan to stop him from playing that way.

“I don’t think I’m going to do that,” said Vaughn about possibly toning down Oladipo’s tempo of play. “I think I’m going to encourage that; to play defense with the energy and effort every night, to dive on the floor and get a possession for your team, those things are important every single night.”

The Magic started the night by scoring the game’s first two points but that was the only lead Orlando would hold in the opening half of the game, with the Grizzlies extending their lead to as big as 10 points at one point in the 2nd quarter.

Orlando would go on to take a 44-43 lead with 9:15 remaining in the 3rd quarter, but the Magic would fail to capture the lead again after the 8:00 mark of the quarter.

Memphis went on to outscore Orlando 30-26 in the final quarter, lead in part by Mike Miller and Ed Davis, who had 7 points apiece in the 4th quarter. Davis finished the game with a double-double that included 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Miller lead the Grizzlies in scoring for the game with 19 points, while going 3-4 from behind the 3-point line.

Vucevic notched a double-double of his own for the Magic with 13 points and 11 boards, but his performance was overshadowed by his fouling out before the end of the 3rd quarter.

“That’s a challenge sometimes,” said Vaughn about Vucevic playing with foul trouble. “So being smart enough and savvy enough to play with foul trouble and that happens down the stretch of a game. So, a lot to learn along the way.”

Tobias Harris was scratched from the starting lineup on Friday, due to an ankle injury. Jason Maxiell started in his place at power forward.

Coach Vaughn did say before the game though that Harris could play if they needed him too, but with it still being the preseason they gave him the day off.

With the loss Orlando now falls to 1-4 in the preseason and have three games remaining before the start of the regular season.

The Magic will now have a day off before returning to the Amway Center on Sunday to take on the Detroit Pistons. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.