Milwaukee Bucks Outlast Orlando Magic 113-110

Apr 1, 2016; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks guard Greivis Vasquez (21), Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic (9) and guard Victor Oladipo (5) chase the loose ball during the second quarter at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 1, 2016; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks guard Greivis Vasquez (21), Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic (9) and guard Victor Oladipo (5) chase the loose ball during the second quarter at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

The Orlando Magic came up a play short despite another stellar offensive effort, falling to the Milwaukee Bucks 113-110 in Milwaukee.

38. Final. 113. 89. 110

The offense has continued to click. It just clicked one possession shy of winning a game.

The Orlando Magic could not get the key bucket when the team needed it. Evan Fournier forced a jump ball the Milwaukee Bucks won on one end and Jabari Parker finished it, driving past Nikola Vucevic in the post.

The Magic set up an inbounds for Fournier coming around a curl. But he barreled down the paint to commit a charge with 10.1 seconds remaining with the Magic down one. Tyler Ennis connected on two free throws to put the Bucks up three.

The Magic tried running Fournier around a screen but he forced a tough, well-contested triple that drew nothing but iron as the Orlando Magic fell to the Milwaukee Bucks 113-110 at BMO Harris Bradley Center.

ScoreOff. Rtg.eFG%O.Reb.%TO%FTR

Nikola Vucevic (ORL) — 22 pts.; Victor Oladipo (ORL) — 18 pts.
Jabari Parker (MIL) — 26 pts.; Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) — 18 pts., 11 rebs., 11 assts.

Milwaukee escaped in a game Orlando had fought hard to get back in, as Milwaukee led by as many as 14 points in the game.

The Magic shot 53.5 percent from the field, but the team committed 20 turnovers and allowed the Bucks to shoot 54.7 percent in their own right.

The Magic were a little too loose at times with the ball, but the offense cannot be faulted for making some of the extra passes the Magic did. Orlando struggled to get around Milwaukee’s length consistently and keep up in a very fast-paced game. Passes that normally would get through could not get through the crowd of arms blocking passing lanes and poking the ball out throughout the game.

The Magic battled from adversity too. Orlando trailed by double digits in the second quarter but fought back to claim a two-point lead late in the quarter on a Fournier three before the Bucks closed it out to lead 58-57 at the intermission.

Milwaukee would come out strong in the third quarter to go on another 7-0 run and retake a 10-point lead at one point, but the Magic fought back again and the game would stay close the remainder of the way.

The Magic once again went with Dewayne Dedmon at the starting 5-spot, but Nikola Vucevic would play a huge role off the bench again. Vucevic had 22 points on 10-for-13 shooting after having shot 12 for 15 Thursday against the Indiana Pacers.

It is not inconceivable Scott Skiles continues the experiment of bringing Vucevic off the bench. Of course it is being done to ease him back into action. But Skiles may have found a winning proposition considering Vucevic is shooting 78 percent from the field in these last two games.

The Magic put four other scorers in double figures, and the bench produced 54 points in the game, outscoring Milwaukee’s bench (29 points).

Overall the Magic did a lot of things right in this game despite being just a little bit flat, especially on defense. The Pacers game did take a lot out of the team. But even against a long and active Bucks frontcourt the Magic were just negative-3 on the boards.

Mario Hezonja had one of his better games. He played tough defense on Khris Middleton, and kept the Bucks’ guard contained to 18 points and four assists. Hezonja had 11 points, two rebounds and an assist. He knocked down 3 of 4 from behind the arc, and his performance was far more exciting than his humble stats.

The Magic overall put on a strong performance, but the Bucks are a tough matchup for the Magic given their long and rangy frontcourt.

Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with a triple double of 18 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds. His versatility gave Orlando fits, and the Magic had trouble countering both Giannis and Jabari Parker.

Parker hit 12 of 14 from the field, including a go-ahead layup which gave the Bucks a one-point lead it would hold onto. Parker finished with 26 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Aaron Gordon and Fournier had a tough time countering Parker’s brilliance around the basket.

Parker scored 10 of his 12 field goals in the paint and the Bucks feasted at the rim throughout the game. They got out in transition off every Magic turnover and many misses. Milwaukee was ready to run.

The Magic had to choose between Dewayne Dedmon’s interior defense or Vucevic’s red-hot shooting, and the choice was really an easy one considering how Vucevic has been feeling it since returning from injury.

Ultimately the Magic though were a play short throughout the evening. When they looked like they were about to take control in the first half, the Bucks fought back. When the Bucks got out and ran, the Magic responded.

They were just one response short. Orlando was again tight offensively in the late stages of the game, unable to recapture the free-flowing, passing offense that built them their lead and created their advantage.

That has been a question that has haunted the team all year. It came back again as the team was seemingly rolling.

Next: OMD Podcast: The future

And again, the Magic were one play short.