Looking at the final score of the Orlando Magic’s loss Monday night to the Brooklyn Nets it would appear that the Nets were in control the whole game. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. The Magic actually had control of the momentum late in the third quarter, but an inability to finish the game came back to haunt the young Magic again. It’s something the team has had trouble with and must correct to improve.
Sunday night against the Detroit Pistons the Magic had the lead late with a chance to put the struggling Pistons away. With 2:50 left in that game, the Magic took a three-point lead, but then allowed Detroit to score the next eight points and come away with a two point victory. That problem crept up again on the Magic Monday night.
After falling behind big late in the second quarter, the Magic limped into halftime in Brooklyn with a 16-point deficit. The Nets built on that lead and with 8:24 left in the third had built up an 18-point lead and looked to be in complete control of the contest. But then the Magic began a run.
Behind the hot shooting of J.J. Redick, the Magic would go on a 17-3 run cutting the Nets lead down to six. It looked as though the Magic would come back to take over the game, but they let it get away. The game ended with the Nets outscoring the Magic 36-10 over the final 14:28 to finish with a 20-point win.
Lately the Magic have had opportunities to win ball games, but haven’t been able to finish. That’s why they’ve lost 17 of their last 20 games. It’s not that they’re a bad team, but when they get close, it seems as though they run out of steam and lose control of the momentum. For the Magic to succeed in the future, they will need to find a way to keep that momentum to lead them to comeback wins. Otherwise, they will continue to let games they can win slip away.