Orlando Magic hold on for the win, defeat the Brooklyn Nets 115-111


Courtesy of Orlando Magic

Maurice Harkless had the dunk of the game in the final 30 seconds, giving the Magic the lead for good against the Nets.

Kyle O’Quinn blocked a potential game tying three from Joe Johnson with under 10 seconds, and also had a key assist in the final minute as the Orlando Magic held off the playoff bound Brooklyn Nets 115-111 Wednesday night at the Amway Center.

“It just really shows how he’s getting better on a daily basis,” said Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn. “He was locked into the possession, he knew what we were doing defensively, and he gets a block without fouling.”

Arron Afflalo led the Magic with 25 points, and E’Twaun Moore was perfect from the floor finishing with 17 points, including 5-5 from three point range.

“After you hit one or two shots, you just start feeling good, and you feel like you’re on fire,” said Moore.

The first quarter was back and forth as the teams traded the lead nine times. The Magic were a little careless with the ball committing seven early turnovers. Afflalo led the Magic with 11 points in the opening quarter.

“He was pretty aggressive tonight and it was good for our team, said Vaughn. “He had it really going for us so that we established ourselves on the offensive end and he was good defensively also.”

The Magic were clicking early in the second, leading by as much as 16. A 25-7 run extended the lead to 45-29 halfway through the quarter

E’Twaun Moore had a big second with 14 points including back to back threes which forced Nets head coach Jason Kidd to call a timeout and regroup. The Magic went into the locker room up 12, leading 55-43.

“We wanted to play fast, that was our goal tonight,” said Moore. “We knew they were coming off a back to back, so we wanted to go up and down, especially our second unit. I just filled the lane, think attack and find the open shots.”

The Nets came out of the half strong and were able to cut the lead to three at the midway point in the quarter. It was a high scoring quarter (35-28 Brooklyn) with the teams hitting a combined 10 threes.

The Nets would take a 73-72 lead with 2:10 to go, but the Magic finished the quarter with back to back buckets, including a Moore three at the buzzer, his fifth of the game.

“Those are the possessions that a lot of time give you a little bit of momentum, just because it is at the end of the quarter,” said Vaughn. “Thats a great job of him stepping up and making those shots, and also guys finding him.”

The back and forth action would continue in the final frame. The Magic held tight however, never giving up the lead. A Marcus Thornton three pointer for the Nets with 4:29 left would tie the game up at 97. The Magic would quickly respond as Dewayne Dedmon followed with a monster dunk that erupted the crowd.

“That’s an experienced team we were playing, so a really good job by our guys of not panicking…overall a lot of good things, especially at the end of games, learning not to panic,” said Vaughn.

Joe Johnson carried the Nets in the fourth with back to back buckets to bring Brooklyn to within one with a minute to go.

Maurice Harkless would throw down a dunk off a nice feed from Kyle O’Quinn with 24 seconds to go to extend the Magic lead to 110-107.

Joe Johnson would again bring the Nets to within one after a tough floater with 14 seconds to go. After a pair of Jameer Nelson free throws extended the Magic lead to 112-109, the marquee defensive play of the game ensued when Kyle O’Quinn blocked a potential game tying three by Joe Johnson.

Jameer Nelson would ice the game with free throws in the final seconds.

The Magic will next host the Washington Wizards this Friday.