Orlando Magic guard Arron Afflalo put on a show for Magic fans Wednesday night at the Amway Center. The Magic dug themselves into a 19 point deficit in the first half but rallied to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 94-91. Afflalo led the Magic to their fourth victory with a career high of 36 points.
Afflalo brought a lot of energy in the second half as he scored 29 of his 36 points in the last two quarters. He finished the night with 11 of 15 from the field and 8 of 11 from behind the arc. He also pulled down eight rebounds, made six assists and had two steals.
“Arron is a guy who can get it going. He’s our top scorer and we get him the ball for a reason,’’ said Jameer Nelson. “My job, especially in the second half when Arron had it going, was to get him the ball. Actually one of my coaches told me, `Find a way to get Arron going.’ So I just tried to find a way. And he did a good job of getting open.’’
One of the goals the Magic set for Afflalo this year was to become a more efficient player and so far he is doing just that. He is currently averaging a career and team best of 19.5 points per game.
“Arron was extremely efficient tonight,” Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said. ”It was just old-school drive-and-kick basketball. Sometimes the game is just that simple.”
In the first quarter, Vaughn knew his game plan was not working. He quickly changed his regular lineup, which consists Jameer Nelson, Arron Afflalo, Nik Vucevic, Jason Maxiell and Maurice Harkless to a smaller and more successful lineup.
As a result of going small, Maxiell only played four minutes while guard Ronnie Price reached a season high of 24 minutes. Price only scored two points but found other ways to contribute. He finished the night with seven boards, two assists, one steal and one block.
Magic’s center Nik Vucevic recorded his fifth double-double of the season with 17 point and 11 rebounds. Teammate Maurice Harkless finished the night with 10 points, three blocks, nine rebounds and one steal.
The Bucks played the Magic with only eight players as they’re without Ersan Ilyasova, Brandon Knight, Gary Neal, Zaza Pachulia, and Larry Sanders. O.J. Mayo led the Bucks with 25 points followed by Caron Butler with 20 points. Butler left the game with left shoulder injury. The extent of his injury is still unknown but it is very likely he will have an MRI on Thursday.
Orlando will have two days to prepare for the Dallas Mavericks. The Magic will host the Mavericks Saturday night at 7 p.m. ET.