Oladipo shows no fear in leading Magic

Orlando Magic rookie reserve guard Victor Oladipo didn’t care how many All-Stars the Brooklyn Nets had on their roster.

This was his turn to shine.


Oladipo, the No. 2 pick of the NBA Draft from Indiana, scored 19 points in 21 minutes to spark the Magic to a 107-86 victory over the veteran-laden Nets.


Center Nikola Vucevic had 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Magic (2-2), who led the entire second half in a coming-out party for Oladipo.


The Nets (1-2) have a league-high six All-Stars on the roster — and they beat the Miami Heat two days earlier — but they were no match for the young legs and aggressive play of the Magic.


“They (the Nets All-Stars) put their shoes on the same way I do,” Oladipo said. “I grew up watching some of them, but at the end of the day, I’m out there competing just like they are.”


Center Brook Lopez led the Nets with 21 points and Paul Pierce had 16. Kevin Garnett, Joe Johnson and Deron Williams — the other three All-Stars in the starting lineup – combined for just 19 points and 8 of 28 shots from the field.


“I just went out there and played basketball. I’m competitive just like they (Nets All-Stars) are,” Oladipo said. “Eventually, I want to be a potential Hall of Famer just like them. And to get there, you have to play hard.”


The loss spoiled the Nets coaching debut of Jason Kidd, who missed the first two games with a suspension.


The Magic led by as many as 23 points midway in the fourth quarter after a 3-point basket by starting point guard Jameer Nelson. They Nets never seriously challenged in the fourth quarter.


The Magic held a 54-42 rebound edge and limited the Nets to just 38.2 percent shooting from the field. It was the second consecutive game the Magic held an opponent below 40 percent.


“He (Oladipo) had his way tonight,” Kidd said. “He got in the lane and made some great plays. They (Magic) made plays and they made shots. We missed a lot of easy shots.”


Oladipo, who dominated the third quarter, opened the fourth quarter by scoring six consecutive points, getting his third basket after a steal against Williams. The Magic led 82-61.


The Magic were up 74-59 going into the fourth quarter, getting eight points and two assists in the third from Oladio.


Vucevic, in his third NBA season, hit 9 of 14 shots from the field. Second-year forward Andrew Nicholson had 17 points and 11 rebounds, continually getting inside against Lopez and Garnett.


“Our young guys just have a maturity about them,” said Magic guard Arron Afflalo, who scored 16 points. “They really feel like they belong out there against anyone. They are just doing their jobs. And the credentials of our opponent, those are career things. That’s not who they are today.”


Orlando opened the second half with a 17-4 run, starting with two 3-point baskets by second-year forward Maurice Harkless. The Magic led 58-42, their biggest advantage of the quarter.


The Magic led 41-38 at intermission after Vucevic sparked a second-quarter run with 10 points. He had 13 points and seven rebounds in the first half. Affalo, who scored 30 points in Friday’s home-opening victory, hit two 3-pointers in the first three minutes to provide an early burst.


The Nets, who were coming off a victory over the Heat on Friday, shot just 36 percent from the field in the first half. Lopez had 10 points in the first two quarters. Joe Johnson missed his only two shots in the first half and didn’t score his only basket until midway in the third quarter.


“The win against Miami doesn’t mean anything when you come here and lay an egg, which is what we did,” said Williams, who had nine points. “These are tough games to get up for, but good teams do. They just looked like they wanted it more than we did tonight, and that’s unacceptable.”


The Magic are home against the Clippers on Wednesday, and the Nets play at home on Tuesday against Utah.


NOTES: There was more than just an experience gap between the two teams. The Nets brought a payroll (including luxury taxes) that reaches $187 million this season, compared with the Magic’s $63 million. The Nets’ starting lineup will make $81 million this season, compared with $22 million for the Magic starters. … Kidd, who retired after playing 19 seasons, made his NBA coaching debut for the Nets after missing the first two games with an NBA suspension stemming from his earlier drunken driving guilty plea. Kidd coached the Nets summer-league team in July. “I’ve got a lot more to learn about coaching,” Kidd said before the game. “The summer now seems like a long time ago. This is learning on the fly.” … The Nets defeated the Magic four times last season by an average of 19.8 points. … Magic F Glenn Davis, who missed the entire preseason recovering from a stress fracture in his foot, resumed practicing for the first time this weekend. Davis, though, may be weeks from playing in his first game. … With his first seven minutes on Sunday night, Nets F Kevin Garnett moved past Wilt Chamberlain and into fifth place on the NBA’s career minutes played list. Garnett entered the game with 47,853 minutes.

Written by Nick


Nick the Quick White is an avid fan of basketball and hip hop, and a contributing writer with WJS since 2013. Nick has interviewed rappers, ballers, rapper ballers, and baller rappers on the site and continues to preach that the NBA should have a team in Europe. Maybe because Nick currently lives outside London where to them Football is actually played with your feet, can you believe this fatuousness?

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