Orlando Magic victorious behind Victor Oladipo

By The Sports Xchange

NEW YORK -- Guard Victor Oladipo has been asked to do different things this year for the Orlando Magic such as anchor a reserve unit.

On Friday, he was not necessarily assigned to hit 3-pointers but Oladipo thrived from behind the arc in a game the Magic desperately needed to win.


Oladipo hit a career-high six 3-pointers and scored 20 points and Orlando stopped a season-high four-game losing streak with a 83-77 victory over the Brooklyn Nets.

"I'm happy for him because he puts in a lot of work," Magic coach Scott Skiles said of Oladipo, who has made 11 of 16 3-pointers in the last three games. "We know that his shooting percentages coming into the New Year are not the type of shooter that he really is. He's a better shooter than that and he's been able to get some good looks and knock them down."


Oladipo hit two when the Magic sprinted to a 13-point lead nine minutes into the game. He hit one 3-pointer apiece in the second and third quarters when Orlando scored 34 points and helped a decisive 15-9 closing run.

"They're doubling Vuc (Nikola Vucevic)," Oladipo said. "Vuc does a great job of drawing them into him and kicking it out. You got to shoot it with confidence and that's all I did today."

Orlando never trailed after a layup by reserve forward Aaron Gordon put them up 70-68 with 6:21 remaining. Following a Brooklyn turnover, Vucevic found Oladipo for his fifth 3-pointer and a 73-68 edge with 5:52 left.

Just over three minutes later, Oladipo sealed Orlando's third win over the Nets this season by hitting his final 3-pointer for an 81-72 lead, doing so after getting a pass from forward Tobias Harris.

While 3-point shooting from Oladipo and effective defense helped Orlando overcome the inconsistent second and third quarters, others contributed.

Vucevic posted his 14th double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Forward Tobias Harris shot 3 of 15 but made up for it with a career-high eight assists, including three resulting in Oladipo 3-pointers. He also grabbed 12 rebounds.


"It opened the game for us," Harris said. "He bailed us out with a lot of those 3-pointers. We know he can make big shots. He shot the ball really well. All of his 3s are kind off drive-and-kicks and wide-open shots. So it was good to see."

Gordon added 14 while guard Evan Fournier contributed 13 as Orlando made 13 of 27 3-pointers and also gave up its second-lowest point total of the season.

The Nets were held to fewer than 80 points for the second straight game and dropped their ninth straight home contest. It is the club's longest since a 14-game skid at the Meadowlands during the 12-70, 2009-2010 season.

"I'm starting to sound like a broken record here at home, nine straight losses, most of them similar," Brooklyn coach Lionel Hollins said.

Center Brook Lopez led the Nets with 17 points but shot 6 of 15. Forward Joe Johnson added 13 and point guard Shane Larkin had 12 for Brooklyn, which shot 39.7 percent and committed 16 turnovers.

"In the last quarter, we just couldn't make a play, couldn't make a shot and again we come away with a loss," Hollins said.


Before wilting down the stretch, the Nets rallied from a 26-13 deficit with 3:09 remaining and took a 38-37 lead at halftime. The Nets rallied from a four-point deficit late in the third and took a 62-60 lead into the fourth on a 3-pointer by reserve guard Wayne Ellington with five-tenths of a second left.

NOTES: Orlando G Elfrid Payton (left ankle contusion) missed his third straight game. Coach Scott Skiles said Payton was unable to move very well during the team's morning shootaround. ... During its nine-game home losing streak, Brooklyn has been outscored by 54... Nets F Andrea Bargnani has not played more than 10 minutes in his previous three games, and coach Lionel Hollins gave a vague response, saying: "I just decided to make a change." After the short response, Bargnani did not play. ... Orlando G Evan Fournier participated in the morning shootaround and started despite being bothered by an ingrown toenail. Had he not been able to play, G Shabazz Napier would have made his 11th career start and first one for Orlando. Napier wound up going scoreless in 12 minutes.

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