Orlando accommodated the New Orleans Hornets by assisting in the ending of their 11-game losing streak. So what about a measly 8-game streak for the Wizards? Sure, why not. Washington won 105-97. Rinse and repeat, the Magic couldn't get crucial stops down the stretch and their ball movement looked nonexistent in crunch time for the fourth straight defeat. I almost want to vomit it was so nauseating to watch the ineptitude at times. It doesn't matter if you're going up against the worst team in basketball, you still have to focus and bring the effort necessary to prevail or you'll be humiliated. Orlando was embarrassed in the paint and in transition and are in an out-of-control tail spin that is undoing all their hard work to begin this '12-'13 season.
A ferocious Maurice Harkless jam, three Jameer 3-pointers, and an Afflalo steal that led to a lay-up, and the Magic sprinted ahead 13-4 just over three and a half minutes into the contest that left the Verizon Center crowd even quieter than usual. Their mood would rapidly change. Despite leading by as many as 17 points in the period, Orlando owned just a 31-25 advantage after those initial 12 minutes. Point the finger at Gustavo Ayon and JJ Redick for squandering opportunities.
E'Twaun Moore injured his left elbow at the end of that opening quarter and didn't come back. That meant Ish Smith being dusted off for the first time in 2 weeks. Orlando just isn't as threatening defensively without Glen Davis on the court. Magic trailed 54-51 at halftime because the Wizards got 18 first half points from Jordan Crawford, and 11 from Garrett Temple who is fresh off a lengthy Development League stint. Pitiful.
The Magic were playing so terribly that Coach Vaughn got desperate and tossed DeQuan Jones in at PF. It didn't help much. In fact the situation was so appalling that the Magic got tagged with a technical foul for playing with 6 men on the court. At least it caused Jacque to scream in anger for once. Orlando was behind by as much as 15 points. Against the bottom-feeder of the NBA. So sad. Josh McRoberts was finally inserted into the contest and Orlando would charge back to only trail 80-72 entering the fourth quarter.
Orlando got their deficit within 3 early on in the last period before Washington extended their lead to double digits once more. Orlando had no more gas in the fuel tank. It was gruesome to watch this team struggle on both ends. With Hedo Turkoglu estimated to be returning against the Raptors at Amway Center Saturday night, it's perfect timing to have 'Turkey Dance' fill in for a hurt E'Twaun and take up backup point guard duties. The bleeding must be stopped because a brutal schedule is on the horizon.