The streak has finally ended! The Orlando Magic (13-23) beat the Los Angeles Clippers (28-9) in an exciting upset Saturday afternoon with a final score of 104-101. The Clippers entered the game tied with the Thunder for the best record in the league, and left it having failed to beat the slumpingest (it’s my blog, I’ll make up words if I want to) in the entire league.
Arron Afflalo played a fantastic all-around game with 30 points/7 rebounds/7 assists/1 TO in a game-high 40 minutes. Jameer Nelson was an assist away from a double-double and while Chris Paul’s FG% may seem indicative of a strong defensive performance from Jameer, the 16 assists CP3 notched were a result of easy penetration. J.J. Redick led all players off the bench with 21 points, including 4 of 8 from downtown. Nik Vucevic, whom all Magic fans are becoming quickly familiar with, notched another monstrous double-double, 18 points/15 rebounds. If he isn’t at least in the conversation for Most Improved Player of the Year, I would be very surprised.
Blake Griffin was brilliant in last night’s game, showing that he can do more than just produce highlights (although he did that several times, as well). He put up 30 points on 68% shooting, to go along with his 8 rebounds and 7 assists. As a team, the Clippers showed that they are capable of making plays from anywhere on the court. Chris Paul, as mentioned above, had 16 assists with only 2 turnovers. Unfortunately, they couldn’t get efficient production out of the streaky Jamal Crawford or the young up-and-comer, Eric Bledsoe.
This was an enormous win for the Orlando Magic’s morale and for the fanbase, as well. The worst losing streak of nearly the entire last decade came to an end in the most spectacular fashion. Now, the Magic have a chance to right ship, as 7 or their next 8 games are against sub-.500 teams. The Magic will visit the Washington Wizards tomorrow at 7 p.m. EST before returning home for the following 3 games. Stay tuned for another round of the Crystal Ball predictions game, which should be posted by late Monday morning. Congratulations to Timothy Williams for winning two weeks in a row!