Orlando Magic Grades: Atlanta Hawks 103, Orlando Magic 99

Nikola Vucevic and the Orlando Magic could never get their offense going in Saturday's loss to the Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Nikola Vucevic and the Orlando Magic could never get their offense going in Saturday's loss to the Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

The Orlando Magic could not get their offense going down the stretch allowing Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks to clip their wings late.

103. 125. Final. 99. 38

Trae Young was measuring the Orlando Magic all evening.

From the start of the game he was able to figure out a way to create space and get into the paint, twisting the Magic’s defense out of whack. The team’s mess of arms and length could slow him down, but they could not stop him.

The Atlanta Hawks just had to get the stops and set the table for their budding young star.

Orlando had the lead with two minutes to play. The team was able to force fouls off deflections and steals. The Magic, despite Young’s outbursts, was working exactly as intended. Orlando could put pressure on teams even without a strong shooting performance.

But, now it was winning time. Now it was about executing and finishing the job.

The Magic have worried who would step up and make those plays. Even if the team was executing well, it came down to making or missing those shots.

In one sequence Evan Fournier had a layup blocked, then Nikola Vucevic missed the tip in and had a second tip in blocked again. Evan Fournier would miss another open 3-pointer. Nikola Vucevic got free beneath the basket, but he was slow to react. Vucevic put the ball down and allowed the Hawks defense to surround him and block his shot.

Young did not miss.

He hit a reverse layup to the give the Hawks the lead for good with about two minutes to play. Then, up by two points, he stared down Markelle Fultz was able to catch him off balance after Fultz poked the ball away and banked in a 3-pointer.

Sometimes shooters are going to make. Young and the Hawks shooters made. The Magic’s shooters missed and the Hawks improved to 2-0 with a 103-99 win at State Farm Arena. Orlando was left still trying to pick the pieces up of its offense and find some consistency.

The Magic ended up shooting 35.4 percent and just 5 for 31 (16.1 percent) from beyond the arc. If not for 26 free throw attempts and 24 free throw makes, Orlando would have been in real trouble.

The Hawks shot 51.2 percent but committed 18 turnovers to help keep the Magic in the game. But Atlanta was able to find those plays late. Orlando could not get its offense moving enough to take full control of the game.

The Magic seemed poised to do that with a defensive spurt in the fourth quarter. Orlando was keeping the deficit within reach just waiting for the offense to turn around. It never did.

And the Hawks made the shots to make the Magic pay for their poor shooting.

C-. Nikola Vucevic had the ball in a prime scoring position with the game on the line. He had the chance to tie the game on his fingertips. But he seemed to shrink from the moment. It is easy to see. He had the chance to make a powerful statement. Instead, he tried to take a moment to gather himself and seemed to put up a soft spot. <a href=. C. Orlando Magic. NIKOLA VUCEVIC

MARKELLE FULTZ. B+. All eyes were again on <a href=. G. Orlando Magic

The Orlando Magic had few guys who could get much of anything going offensively. The team was turning to whoever it seemed could get to the basket consistently and make good decisions. The Magic got a lot of good looks that did not fall and a lot of looks at the basket they could not force down.<p>For much of the game, Fournier was the guy driving the ship for the Magic. He was able to work his in-between game and make shots consistently. He could drive into the lane and make good decision to draw in the defense. Fournier was solid for most of the night.</p><p>He scored a team-high 23 points on 8-for-18 shooting. He missed five of his six 3-pointers, but none of that mattered. Until late in the game though. Fournier’s decisionmaking late in the game was wanting. He seemed to try too hard to make the play for himself rather than move the ball. And that hurt the team in the end.</p>. G/F. Orlando Magic. EVAN FOURNIER. B

AARON GORDON. C. <a href=. F. Orlando Magic

A-. The Orlando Magic struggled to shoot, but the Atlanta Hawks deserve a lot of credit. This is not the same porous defensive team from last year that just tried to outscore opponents. They have a big more scrappiness to them and they can challenge teams at the rim just as much. This Hawks team is better.<p>Atlanta still orbits around Trae Young. He had 39 points and every single one was vital. The Hawks were not able to do a lot offensively without him in there. And when the Magic could close him down and make his life difficult, the Magic dominated the game. Young was everything for the Hawks.</p><p>Atlanta though should feel good about its early season progress. When the game is close, Young gives them an advantage late in games. He was able to find his shot and carry his team past Orlando when the game was on the line. That is a very nice win for the Hawks.</p>. 2-0. 1st East. ATLANTA HAWKS

Next. Orlando Magic's biggest aim is to increase physicality. dark

The Orlando Magic finish their two-game road trip Monday with a playoff rematch against the Toronto Raptors.