Orlando Magic Grades: Orlando Magic 123, Washington Wizards 89

D.J. Augustin caught the Washington Wizards napping plenty as the Orlando Magic eased to a win. (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
D.J. Augustin caught the Washington Wizards napping plenty as the Orlando Magic eased to a win. (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Orlando Magic showed their defensive attention to detail and dominated the undermanned Washington Wizards for a big win to close their homestand.

38. Final. 89. 142. 123

The Orlando Magic knew defending the Washington Wizards would require discipline. They run on everything and force teams to be aware in transition at all times. Otherwise, they will hit a 3-pointer and get their offense churning.

The Wizards are still searching for a way to defend consistently. They are increasingly using a zone defense to try to slow teams down and at least make them think. It is still rare enough in the NBA that it can throw some teams off.

It takes discipline and attention to detail to beat it. And certainly a lot of passing and composure.

That is what the Magic had throughout their game, minus a small stretch in the second quarter. That is what the Wizards lacked.

As Orlando’s lead was getting out of control, Washington continually bit on the trap that is page one of the scouting report — the vaunted D.J. Augustin pump fake.

D.J. Augustin got to the line for 13 free throws (inexplicably missing three, actually), getting defenders to bite on his pump fake on three separate occasions. That was a symbol of everything the Magic were doing right.

The Magic withstood the Wizards’ mini-rally in the second quarter where they took the lead and put their foot down because of this focus.

They finished the quarter on a 17-5 run to re-assert a double-digit lead. The Magic started the second half on a 14-2 run to go up by as much as 25 in the third quarter. The rest was academic in an 123-89 victory over the Wizards at the Amway Center. Orlando swept the season series against Washington.

They did it once again in dominant fashion, much like the game last week on the road.

The Wizards certainly had their moments where they hit from the outside, but they were an abysmal 6 for 23 (26.1 percent). The Magic had their way challenging and contesting shots. And once they settled in transition, Washington found it difficult to attack.

The Magic’s swarming defense did its job, especially during those runs to take full control over the game. Orlando forced 23 turnovers for 35 points. It did not launch fast-break points, but Orlando was constantly on the attack. The Wizards were always playing on their back foot.

In the half-court, when Nikola Vucevic was in especially, the Magic just picked the zone apart. They left ample room in the middle and solid and precise passing got them shots near the rim or open 3-pointers. Orlando found itself at the foul line plenty to for 27 of 34 free throws.

At a certain point, the Magic just got whatever they wanted. The Wizards were not able to stand up to the starters.

A-. Everything always starts and ends with <a href=. C. Orlando Magic. NIKOLA VUCEVIC

PG. Orlando Magic. D.J. AUGUSTIN. B+. <p>D.J. Augustin is crafty for sure. No one will deny that. His ability to get defenders to bite on his pump fake is a certifiable weapon at this point. And when he has that going, it usually means the Orlando Magic have the defense completely off balance.</p><p>Augustin again was stunning off the bench with 18 points and two 3-pointers. He hit 10 of his 13 free throws, doing a good job getting into the lane and among the trees to draw contact. He was pushing the pace in the second half especially.</p><p>His only downside was how he led the team in the second quarter. Especially against the zone defense, his driving and dribbling through the lane proved fairly ineffectual. The Magic were throwing the ball around and the team did not seem to be particularly well organized. They snapped out of it and Augustin delivered a few killing blows in the second half.</p>

B+. So how would <a href=. PG. Orlando Magic. MARKELLE FULTZ

Orlando Magic. KHEM BIRCH. A. <a href=. C

C. It is hard to be too harsh on the Washington Wizards. They were playing only nine guys and have several rotation players out. It seems like they are holding their breath any time any player hits the floor. It has just been a bad-luck season for Washington. The Wizards are trying to play a style and trying to keep giving themselves a chance to win.<p>Even coach Steve Clifford was pretty effusive with his praise for them and how they are playing and giving effort through it all. It was something of a rare show of commiseration with a fellow coach. <a rel=. 12-25. 12th East. WASHINGTON WIZARDS

The Orlando Magic improve to 18-20 and are one game clear of the Brooklyn Nets for eighth in the Eastern Conference. They trail the Indiana Pacers by five games for sixth in the East.

Injury Update: Al-Farouq Aminu likely out for the season. dark. Next

The Orlando Magic return to action Friday as they start a six-game road trip in Phoenix against the Phoenix Suns.