The Orlando Magic know they’ll win a game eventually. They just don’t know when.
One night after establishing a franchise-record losing streak, the Magic will again attempt to end it when they visit the Dallas Mavericks.
Since beating the New York Knicks in their first game of the season, the Magic have dropped 18 straight. With Friday’s 105-94 loss to the San Antonio Spurs, they eclipsed the previous team record of 17 set during the 1991-92 season.
“Same story, different day,” Orlando forward Drew Gooden said after the game.
The Magic came back from an 18-point deficit and held a five-point advantage entering the fourth quarter after Tracy McGrady scored 16 of his 28 points in the third.
But Orlando missed 16 of its final 21 shots.
“Guys are playing the game hard—but everybody is playing hard,” said McGrady, who missed his final nine shots. “Let’s try to play smart basketball. At times we do that, but for the most part, we’re not. That’s why we’re giving away these games.”
Magic coach Johnny Davis said each loss makes it tougher for his players.
“It’s becoming increasingly difficult to win a basketball game,” said Davis, 0-7 since replacing the fired Doc Rivers. “Certainly, the more you lose the tougher it seems to get.”
The Magic will likely have a difficult time ending their streak against the Mavs.
Nowitzki is out with a sprained right ankle and his status is day-to-day.
“We had opportunities early, but we didn’t make our shots,” said Michael Finley, who started 0-for-9 but finished with 19 points. “The effort was there. I thought we kept it competitive.”