Afflalo scores 36 as Magic rally vs. Bucks

Tim Povtak, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Veteran guard Arron Afflalo just had the biggest game of his NBA career, but he wasn't really satisfied. He still wanted more. And that's why he's still getting better.
Afflalo, now in his seventh NBA season, scored a career-high 36 points, including a smoking 29 in the second half, to lead the Orlando Magic to a 94-91 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night at the Amway Arena.
Afflalo also hit a career-high eight 3-point baskets, including five in the third quarter when he erased the early Milwaukee lead. That enabled the Magic (4-5) to snap a three-game losing streak and beat the Bucks for the 15th consecutive time in Orlando.
"You always feel like you could do more," Afflalo said. "This was a nice win, but I don't know if I'm ever satisfied. I want to get better, put together two halves like the one I had tonight."
Afflalo added eight rebounds, six assists and two steals. He hit 11 of his 15 shots, including 8 of 11 from 3-point range, as he dominated the second half after a sluggish start.
"He's a real student of the game," Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said. "He's always got that urge to want more. He studies the game. He watches film, and he sees the results of his efforts."
Guard O.J. Mayo scored 25 points and forward Caron Butler added 20 to lead the Bucks (2-5), who were crushed in Miami on Tuesday night.
Magic center Nikola Vucevic had 17 points and 11 rebounds. Forward Maurice Harkless and rookie guard Victor Oladipo each had 10 points.
Afflalo had just seven points and took only four shots in the first half. The Magic trailed by as many as 19 points in the first two periods.
"I knew I had to be more aggressive in the second half," Afflalo said. "I just didn't know it would come with so many 3s. I had a lot of open looks, and I didn't hesitate when I got them."
He hit a trio of 3-pointers in the first three minutes of the second half. His fifth of the period allowed the Magic to tie the game at 70.
The Bucks took a 74-72 lead into the fourth, but the Magic grabbed their first lead of the game, 79-76, with 7:43 remaining when Afflalo hit his seventh 3-pointer. His eighth gave the Magic an 84-78 lead.
The Bucks regained the lead briefly at 89-88, but the Magic responded defensively.
Afflalo hit four consecutive free throws for the 92-89 lead. His final assist came with nine seconds remaining, resulting in a dunk by Vucevic. With the Magic leading by three, he made the final steal with a second remaining to end the game.
"He (Afflalo) just got away from us tonight," Bucks coach Larry Drew said. "We lost him a couple times, and he was on fire, just shooting the ball extremely well."
The Bucks led 54-45 at intermission, getting 15 points from Butler and 12 from Mayo. Butler had 12 points in the first 12 minutes, and they never trailed in the first two periods.
The Magic, who allowed 120 points Monday night in Boston, gave up 36 points in the first quarter Wednesday, digging an early 13-point deficit. They stiffened considerably, holding the Bucks to 18, 20 and 17 in the final three periods.
The Bucks were short-handed, with just eight players available, and it showed in the second half when they wilted defensively trying to cover Afflalo.
"We didn't have our full unit out there, and that's a little frustrating," Mayo said. "It was a very winnable game, but you have to give credit where credit is due. They wanted it a little more than we did."
Veteran Magic guard Jameer Nelson was called for a flagrant foul -- just the second in his career -- in the second quarter when he clipped Bucks rookie guard Nate Wolters across the head on a breakaway basket.
NOTES: Veteran Magic F Glen Davis, on the injured list while his left foot mends, was fined an undisclosed amount by the team Wednesday because of an incident early Saturday morning in downtown Orlando. A video emerged this week on TMZ in which Davis was seen smashing the keyboard of a front-desk reservations computer at a motel. "We will not tolerate or condone this type of behavior," Magic GM Rob Hennigan said. ... Bucks rookie PG Nate Wolters went into the game leading the NBA in assist-to-turnover ratio (6.8-1). Wolters was averaging 31.4 minutes, 5.7 assists and 8.8 points, getting more-than-expected playing time because of injuries to Milwaukee's more experienced point guards. ... The Bucks had just eight players available with G Brandon Knight (hamstring), C Zaza Pachulia (sore right foot) and G Gary Neal (sore left foot) sitting out. ... Milwaukee G Luke Ridnour has not played this season due to back spasms, but he joined the team and worked out Wednesday in Orlando. ... The Bucks return to action Friday night against the unbeaten Indiana Pacers. The Magic are home Saturday against Dallas.

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