On Tuesday night, the Orlando Magic snapped the Los Angeles Clippers’ six-game winning streak, by a final score of 103-96.
On the second night of a back-to-back, and in their fifth game in seven days, the Clippers were down a good starting five: Paul George (right foot soreness), Patrick Beverley (right knee), Marcus Morris Sr., Serge Ibaka (lower back) and Rajon Rondo (adductor). But is this a good enough excuse when facing an Orlando team that recently traded their top three players, and has lost 13 of their previous 15 games?
While Paul George was out for the Clippers, Kawhi Leonard stepped up as expected. Leonard had 28 points in 35 minutes.
“Magic played a great game. They fought all night. Got to give them credit,” said Kawhi Leonard.
Ivica Zubac also played well for Los Angeles, scoring a double-double (14 points and 13 rebounds). Zubac, last season’s starting center, doesn’t offer Ibaka’s floor spacing but has remained a strong defensive force. Since he moved into the starting lineup nine games ago, opponents are shooting 42% against shots he defends, a slight improvement over his season average.
Meanwhile, Chuma Okeke scored 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting to lead the Magic. Okeke is averaging almost 18 points over his past four games.
“This league is all about wins. We took a great step forward in the right direction,” Carter said. “It definitely is a confidence booster going up against one of the best teams in the Western Conference and getting a win on the road.”
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