Magic gained another lesson the hard way in heartbreaking loss to Kings – The Denver Post


The Orlando Magic have learned many lessons the hard way through the season’s first 10 games.

The lesson from Saturday’s heartbreaking home loss to the Sacramento Kings? Don’t get too comfortable with having a significant at any point of the game.

While Kings guard De’Aaron Fox’s 31-foot buzzer-beating 3-pointer in overtime gave his team the win, it was the Magic (2-8) blowing a 67-47 lead in the third quarter that allowed Sacramento (3-5) the opportunity to make it a close game.

“That third quarter we came out a little bit lax,” coach Jamahl Mosley said. “We’ve got to come out with the same level of focus and consistency of doing the exact same thing.”

What did lax look like?

The Magic were careless with the ball, turning it over 9 times in the third for 15 Sacramento points that allowed the Kings to win the quarter 36-12.

Orlando did not consistently get back on defense, making it easier for the Kings to get easier points in transition. The Magic also did not do the simple and little things in the third quarter that they did in the first half to take a 65-47 lead at halftime.

“We were up and we were just happy with being up,” Bol Bol said. “We were thinking they were just going to lay down. It’s the NBA. Teams go on runs as quickly as five minutes, 12 minutes — there were 24 minutes left to play. The momentum just shifted when they came out hot.”

Orlando did well battling back after relinquishing the lead and trailing 93-83 in the fourth.

Paolo Banchero (33 points on 14-of-26 shooting, 15 rebounds and 4 assists for his first 30-point game) and Franz Wagner (31 points on 13-of-22 shooting, 6 assists and 4 rebounds) led the team at different points down the stretch, and that’s encouraging for their long-term growth.

The Magic showed fight and their resiliency has been evident throughout the early parts of the season.

They’ve played eight games that have included “clutch” minutes — when the scoring margin is within 5 points with five or fewer minutes remaining in a game. Their record in those games is 1-7, showing there are details they’re not taking addressing.

And for the Magic, it’s not just about the performance in the clutch. It’s understanding every part of the game impacts another part.

“You just got to stick with it,” rookie big man Banchero said. “Got to tip your caps sometimes. We fought hard.”

The Magic will continue their season-long seven-game homestand with a matchup against the Houston Rockets (1-9) on Monday night.

Cole Anthony (torn right internal oblique), Markelle Fultz (fractured left big toe), Gary Harris (left knee injury recovery), Jonathan Isaac (left knee injury recovery) and Moe Wagner (sprained right midfoot) remain sidelined.

The game will tip off at 7:15 p.m. at Amway Center and can be watched on Bally Sports Florida/Bally Sports+ or listened to on FM 96.9 The Game.

This article first appeared on Email Khobi Price at or follow him on Twitter at @khobi_price.



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