Orlando Magic Postgame Grades: Orlando Magic 107, Milwaukee Bucks 98


The Orlando Magic had a trio of reserves step up to play like major starters in its 107-98 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

107. 38. 98. 89. Final

The Orlando Magic led by as many as 20 points and cruised to victory despite a late push by the Milwaukee Bucks that cut the lead to as few as four points. The Magic had played such a good game though, there was no succumbing in this one.

The ball movement had been too precise and too crisp, and the defense far too stringent, to disappoint the Magic fans on Fan Appreciation Night at the Amway Center.

Orlando started just two of its regulars: Evan Fournier and Elfrid Payton. Ersan Ilyasova, Mario Hezonja and Dewayne Dedmon got the start in place of Aaron Gordon, Victor Oladipo and Nikola Vucevic. The Magic were taking no chances with Oladipo and Gordon both having concussions and going through concussion protocols — both were in the building — and Vucevic was out with a right leg injury so Orlando held him out of this one too.

But it gave a good look at some reserves with expanded roles. And all three replacement starters had outstanding games, perhaps career nights in the case of Dedmon and Hezonja.

Accordingly, rather than hyper-analyze the known entitles like Payton and Fournier, these grades seem best focused upon Orlando’s trio of starting reserves.

Orlando Magic. ERSAN ILYASOVA. B+. <p>Ersan Ilyasova got his offense going early and often in this one, and he did damage from all over the court by the end. Despite Milwaukee supposedly having one of the best defensive frontcourts due to its length, Ilyasova seemed to have no problem getting good shots all night. He kept his hands ready for passes, and the Magic were moving the ball well enough that such was all it required to find good looks.</p><p>Ilyasova shot 10 for 13 from the field while playing 37 minutes to lead Orlando with 22 points. He also collected six boards and four blocks/steals in the game.</p><p>Ilyasova did have a few letdowns defensively, but overall he was superb as most of the Magic team was. His late foul on <strong><a href=. PF

A. <p>This was the first time Mario Hezonja really put a complete game together. He started the night by getting his teammates involved, finishing the first quarter with four of his seven assists. He was patient in letting the offense come to him, and did not have to force many bad looks, which is why the rookie finished the game 7 for 11 from the field with three made triples.</p><p>Hezonja played 39 minutes, too, which was a career high in its own right.</p><p>His five steals were hardly the dumb luck of being in the right place either. Hezonja played angles and kept his hands active, and he legitimately looked like a star. The deflection that led to the <strong><a href=. G/F. Orlando Magic. MARIO HEZONJA

C. Orlando Magic. DEWAYNE DEDMON. A. <p>Dewayne Dedmon looked like he was on his way to having easily his best performance as a pro. Sure, <strong><a href=

C-. <p>The Milwaukee Bucks were one of the most disappointing teams of this season, and they held true to that in this game as well. The Bucks have worlds of length and athleticism, yet somehow went from being a top-five defensive team a season ago to one of the league’s worst this year. The Bucks really were pretty slow rotating most of the night, and if the Magic stayed persistent in looking for a good shot, there was one to be found.</p><p>The Bucks starting frontcourt finished with 51 points on 22-for-39 shooting, but making shots was not Milwaukee’s main problem in a loss that saw them shoot 52.6 percent from the field.</p><p>The Magic got most of the “50/50 balls,” played tough defense and forced Milwaukee into a lot of careless mistakes. Orlando legitimately looked like a playoff team, but it has to be wondered how much of that is simply because the majority of the Bucks team is already looking forward to their summers.</p>. 33-48. 12th East. MILWAUKEE BUCKS