Orlando Magic Grades: Orlando Magic 115, Brooklyn Nets 107

Apr 6, 2017; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic shooting guard Jodie Meeks (20) shoots a 3-pointer during a game against the Brooklyn Nets at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Griffith-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 6, 2017; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic shooting guard Jodie Meeks (20) shoots a 3-pointer during a game against the Brooklyn Nets at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Griffith-USA TODAY Sports /

The Orlando Magic used a ‘flammable’ third quarter from Jodie Meeks to quiet the Brooklyn Nets and pull away for a victory at the Amway Center.

The Orlando Magic got a little boost of energy when Elfrid Payton beat Brook Lopez down the court and laid it in as the halftime buzzer sounded. It tied the game at 50 and gave the Magic a bit of momentum.

Jodie Meeks made sure to put the Magic firmly in control. Draining long 3-pointers and getting his shot going, Meeks scored his first 18 points, including 13 in a row, to get the Magic moving. That got the team’s transition working and got the team moving with a big more energy and pep.

Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton helped finish off the Brooklyn Nets 115-107 at the Amway Center on Thursday as the Magic held on for victory after a late charge.

"“I feel like everyone has confidence in one another,” Meeks told Orlando Magic Daily. “Me making shots got Aaron a couple lobs. Elfrid got into the open court and was either able to create for himself or others. It kind of trickled down to the rest of the team.”"

Orlando had to rely on a lot of unfamiliar faces throughout the game with Evan Fournier out of the lineup with a wrist injury and coach Frank Vogel opting to sit Terrence Ross for much of the second half in a planned attempt to get recent signees Marcus Georges-Hunt and Patricio Garino more playing time. Even Stephen Zimmerman saw extra playing time in these efforts.

The game still came down to the brilliant transition play from Gordon and Payton. And some timely buckets from Georges-Hunt.

Payton and Gordon dominated in transition as Orlando totaled 19 fast-break points to Brooklyn’s eight. A big advantage considering the Nets’ high-tempo style. Gordon finished more than his share of lobs to get the team some energy in the third quarter particularly.

Georges-Hunt proved critical too. He finished the game for the Magic and hit a baseline runner to fend off the Nets and killed the run with a 3-pointer.

A-. Jodie Meeks helped turn the game around with a 13-point spurt in the third quarter and 18 of his 20 points total in the 12-minute frame. It got the Orlando Magic firmly in front for good and the team just had to hold the Brooklyn Nets off for a win.<p>This is the kind of “flammable” play the Magic had hoped for with meeks. He is good for a few of these unconscious, irrational confidence games per year when he is healthy. Meeks would just come around screens firing and make them with easy, including a pure heat-check 30-footer.</p><p>Inevitably, he cooled and became more of a bit player. But with the threat of him going off at any time, he freed up space for Elfrid Payton and company to attack. It made the offense a lot easier.</p>. SG. Orlando Magic. JODIE MEEKS

B+. Elfrid Payton continued to be the engine for the Orlando Magic. He was able to break the Brooklyn Nets down off the dribble and get himself going in transition. The Nets’ super-quick pace played right into his hands and he took advantage once again.<p>Payton finished with 22 points and 11 assists, adding five rebounds. He was confident taking jumpers, but his real value was attacking the paint. His score at the end of the first half to tie the game before halftime was critical to maintaining momentum and getting the Magic in the right frame of mind heading into the final 24 minutes. Payton was a true leader and stepped up his game.</p><p>He still had some struggles defensively. <strong><a rel=. PG. Orlando Magic. ELFRID PAYTON

G/F. Orlando Magic. MARCUS GEORGES-HUNT. B+. Pretty good opportunity for a guy on a 10-day contract, right? And a pretty good performance for Marcus Georges-Hunt.<p>The Orlando Magic opted to play Terrence Ross fewer minutes and use this game as a chance to get a better look at the two guys the team brought in on a 10-day contract. Both Marcus Georges-Hunt and Patricio Garino played their fair share. Georges-Hunt finished the game and delivered with a critical five straight points to keep the Nets at bay. Georges-Hunt finished with eight points and seven rebounds.</p><p>Those rebounds are probably more indicative of the extra benefit Georges-Hunt can bring to the team. He is a strong defender and fit into the Magic’s schemes rather seamlessly. He is already gaining some chemistry with his teammates. Both he and Patricio Garino exhibited some nerves with this big opportunity. But both made plenty of contributions.</p>

Aaron Gordon continues to shine in transition as he put up a few more hair-raising alley-oops. That included finishing one Elfrid Payton sent off the backboard. But increasingly too in the last few weeks, Gordon is showing a better ability to get to the basket. He is taking slower power forwards off the dribble more and beating them time and again.<p>Gordon finished the game with 21 points, adding six rebounds to his tally and three steals. He was a scoring machine throughout the game as he kept the pressure on the defense.</p><p>What is important for Gordon is to make decisions and moves quickly. His effectiveness goes down the more he dribbles the ball. It also seems to make him more likely to settle for a jumper. When Gordon attacked the basket Thursday night, he found himself much more effective and able to score. He can get there against players like <strong><a rel=. PF. Orlando Magic. AARON GORDON. B+

The Brooklyn Nets found it much harder to get into the paint in Thursday’s game than they did in Saturday’s game. The Nets shot 46.0 percent from the floor and scored 48 points in the paint. That is a far cry from the 70 they had in Saturday’s game. Brook Lopez struggled to score 10 points on 4-for-13 shooting as the Magic did a much better job crowding and switching to contain ball handlers. Orlando’s defense was not great, but much more connected than Saturday.<p>The game came down to making little plays and taking advantage of mistakes. After failing to score any points off turnover sin the first half, Orlando began to make the Nets pay for their mistakes. Brooklyn turned it over 14 times for 13 Magic points. And Orlando turned misses and steals into 19 fast-break opportunities.</p><p>Simply, the Magic executed better than the Nets and held on at the end after the Nets cut a 17-point deficit down to five. Orlando made the plays it needed to win. And Brooklyn did not.</p>. 19-60. 15th East. BROOKLYN NETS. B-