Tobias Harris leads Magic past 76ers

Tobias Harris’ career night for the Orlando Magic helped lead the team to its 19th victory of the season with a 92-81 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night in front of 16,704.

Harris scored a career-high 31 points on 11-of-20 shooting from the field for the Magic, who also benefited from double-digit scoring from Nikola Vucevic, E’Twaun Moore and Maurice Harkless.

Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn said Harris bailed the team out a lot in the first half. “The ability to make shots is crucial in this league and he has that ability,” said Vaughn.

“I think especially in the first half we leaned on him a lot and he was able to deliver. I think overall his game was pretty efficient tonight; he made shots from different parts of the floor and did a lot of good things.”

The Magic outscored the 76ers 26-12 in the fourth quarter to ultimately put the game away. Backup point guard E’Twaun Moore scored eight points in the final quarter to help lead the charge for the Magic.

“I just have to let the game come to me and pick my spots,” said Moore. “We just picked up our intensity [in the second half] and know that we just have to shut our man down.”

Vaughn credited the team’s hustle plays down the stretch to help take the lead. “We talked about activity and defense and that was the stretch where we got on the floor for loose balls,” said Vaughn.

“We were extremely active with our hands and I think that kind of turned the game a little bit. We dialed it up a notch [defensively] and that paid dividends for us.”

Reserve point guard Ronnie Price started the game in place of Jameer Nelson, who sat out Sunday night’s game with a sore calf. Vaughn said after the game that he made the decision earlier in the afternoon to hold Nelson out of the game to take advantage of the team’s upcoming two-day off time in between games.

The Magic face Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets at home on Wednesday.