Kings rally late to defeat Magic

ORLANDO — Arron Afflalo led all scorers with 26 points, but it wasn’t enough as the Orlando Magic fell to the Sacramento Kings 105-100 on Saturday in front of an announced attendance of 14,283 at the Amway Center.

Orlando started the game shooting 71% from the floor, the hot start got the Magic a 28-21 lead late in the first quarter. The Magic finished the opening quarter shooting 61.1%, while going 4-6 from behind the 3-point line.

The Kings used a 14-4 run at the end of the first half to cut the Magic’s lead to 58-56 at halftime. Sacramento shot 5-6 from 3-point range during the second quarter.

“Offensively, the first half we were solid, but they were at halftime 8 of 11 from three,” said Afflalo after the game. “If a team is playing really well that’s a good way to contradict that, just stay in the game and hang around shooting 3’s.

That three ball ended up hurting us tonight.” added Afflalo.

Orlando led for the entire first half, but after a back-and-forth third quarter the Magic’s lead was 2 points. Both teams scored just 19 points apiece in the third quarter.

Sacramento opened up the fourth quarter on a 18-4 run, giving them a 93-81 lead midway through the final quarter. The Kings would be able to hold on to their lead and win their 8th game of the season.

“Everything is not going to go our way, but we have to keep fighting,” said second-year guard Isaiah Thomas after the game. “I think we did that tonight and that is why we got the win.”

Marcus Thornton helped led the fourth quarter charge with 11 points, including three consecutive 3-pointers early in the quarter.

“You give a guy like Marcus Thornton credit,” said Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn. “Whether it’s a back-up or a starter guarding him. His ability to effect the game early in the fourth by making shots.

“You pick up a guy in transition, you stop the basketball. ” added Vaughn.

Tobias Harris had 21 points and 4 rebounds in his return to the starting lineup, while Sacramento’s Isaiah Thomas and Rudy Gay led the Kings with 23 points each.

The Magic finished the game shooting 47.6%, while going 14-23 from the free throw line, both are numbers coach Vaughn hopes to improve moving forward.

“Just couldn’t afford to miss 12 today,” said Vaughn. “I think we could have used those 12 points.”

With the loss Orlando’s record now falls to 8-19 for the season, giving them the 3rd worst record in the Eastern Conference.

The Magic return to the Amway Center on Monday, Dec. 23 against the New York Knicks (8-17). Tip-off against the Knicks is scheduled for 7 p.m.

“I don’t want to speak past Monday, but I’m itching to get every win now.” said Afflalo about the remainder of the Magic’s homestand.