One play from a shocking Sunday night at Amway Center will make the highlight reels. Early in the fourth quarter, Victor Oladipo tapped the ball away from Deron Williams and scooped the ball off the floor. Oladipo dribbled down the court and jumped, spun 360 degrees and dunked. But, for Orlando Magic coaches and executives, other images resonated — images that indicated a new-and-improved confidence from their players. Nik Vucevic ignoring an earful of Kevin Garnett's trash talk. Maurice Harkless calmly squaring up in front of the Brooklyn Nets' bench and swishing a pair of 3-pointers. Andrew Nicholson fighting through a box-out by Brook Lopez and grabbing an offensive rebound. The Magic trounced the Nets 107-86. "You deserve the win," Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn told his players afterward. The Magic didn't allow the Nets to intimidate them. Last season, the Nets pushed the Magic all over the court. Orlando lost all four of its matchups against Brooklyn — and lost by an average of 19.8 points. "That was last year," Vucevic said. "It's a new year. We don't really want to think about what happened last year." Vucevic scored 19 points, collected 12 rebounds and, best of all, didn't give Lopez many easy looks close to the hoop. Oladipo scored 14 of his 19 points in the second half, grabbed six rebounds and dished out four assists. The prized rookie also halted a Nets run in the third quarter. With Orlando ahead 61-52 but Brooklyn making a charge, Oladipo played a direct role in the Magic's next 10 points. He made a running floater. He sank two free throws. He drove into the lane, spun and made a layup. He hit a pull-up jumper from 21 feet. And he drove into the lane and hurled a no-look pass to Vucevic, which Vucevic converted into a wide-open dunk. After Nicholson hit a short hook early in the fourth quarter, Oladipo scored six consecutive points: a driving reverse layup, a pull-up jumper from 18 feet and then his 360-degree dunk.
Magic upset the Nets 107-86 behind big nights from Oladipo and Vucevic
Orlando Sentinel | Nov 4