Magic cruise past flat Sixers

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


PHILADELPHIA -- Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn thought his team got what it deserved Tuesday night, when the Magic ended a five-game losing streak by beating the Philadelphia 76ers 98-84.
Sixers coach Doug Collins believes his team got what it deserved, too.
Arron Afflalo and Tobias Harris scored 16 apiece to pace the Magic (16-41), who also ended a 10-game road skid. Andrew Nicholson added 13 for Orlando, which dropped 17 of its previous 18 and is just 4-28 since opening the season 12-13.
Ex-Sixers center Nikola Vucevic finished with 12 points and 19 rebounds.
Orlando, which shot 53.9 percent from the floor, won for just the seventh time in 28 road games this season.
"(The Magic) put forth the kind of effort that deserved a win, and that's what it's about," Vaughn said. "At the end of the day, in this league, for the most part, you get what you deserve."
Collins agreed with that assessment as it applied to his own team, which dropped its sixth straight.
"Well, I sure didn't see this effort coming," he said, adding that the Sixers' failure on that front was "mind-numbing."
"I'm a day's-work-for-a-day's-pay kind of guy," he said. "That's all I've ever been taught. ... I looked out there to start the game, three guys weren't even sweaty. You've got to be sweating. You've got to be ready to go."
Philadelphia forward Thaddeus Young said, "We didn't have a lot of energy tonight. We didn't play with a lot of energy. ... They had more fight than we did, and they won the game."
Reserve guards Damien Wilkins and Jeremy Pargo scored 14 points each to pace the Sixers (22-33). Wilkins' total was a season high.
Philadelphia moved to a 29-20 second-quarter lead, but Orlando outscored the Sixers 25-9 over the next 7:14 to take a 45-38 lead late in the half. Nicholson notched nine of his 11 first-half points in that flurry, and Afflalo added eight of his 10 first-half points.
The Magic extended its 47-42 halftime lead to 61-44 early in the third quarter on two free throws by Harkless. The Sixers mounted a brief challenge later in the period, cutting the deficit to five, but Orlando answered with a 19-3 run that included seven of Al Harrington's nine points.
That gave Orlando an 85-64 lead with 7:41 left in the game.
E'Twaun Moore finished with 12 points and 10 assists, and Moe Harkless had 10 points for the Magic.
Dorell Wright had 11 points and Evan Turner 10 for the Sixers, who shot 39.5 percent. All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday contributed nine points and 10 assists.
Asked if the loss represented a low point for his team, Collins said, "I sure hope it can't get any worse than this."
NOTES: Magic point guard Jameer Nelson, a native of nearby Chester, Pa., and product of Saint Joseph's University, missed his third straight game with a knee injury. ... Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu served the sixth game of an NBA-imposed suspension. The penalty was for testing positive for an anabolic steroid. ... Collins dismissed a report from CSN Bay Area's Ric Bucher saying that Collins is "consumed ... with tracking the boxscores and performances of Moe Harkless," a rookie forward sent to Orlando as part of the offseason trade in which the Sixers acquired Andrew Bynum. "I pay attention to all of the players in my life," Collins said. "They're important to me." ... Bynum, who has yet to play this season because of bone bruises to both knees, had been expected to provide an update before the game, but he was not available. ... Vucevic was deprived of a chance at his 20th rebound late in the game, when Harris leaped in front of him to grab a defensive board. "My bad," Harris said, adding that at least Vucevic wasn't gunning for a career high. Vuecevic was unfazed, saying, "He didn't know. Nineteen is still enough."