Orlando Magic Grades: Orlando Magic 120, Memphis Grizzlies 115

Terrence Ross caught fire to lead the Orlando Magic to a critical road win. (Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images)
Terrence Ross caught fire to lead the Orlando Magic to a critical road win. (Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images) /

The Orlando Magic were dead in the water early on. But they stormed back behind their bench to score a road win over the Memphis Grizzlies.

38. 115. 211. Final. 120

The Orlando Magic have been looking for growth and consistency. They have shown glimpses of who they are but have seen something unravel them time and time again.

It might be their poor outside shooting or playmaking. It might be poor rotations or ball containment defensively. Or it might be a key rebound.

Especially in close games this year, the Magic have missed that final push to get them over the top. They have missed that last extra bit they need to win. That is as much a part of the Magic’s struggles and frustrations this year.

Have the Magic turned a corner? They will let the next month determine that. there are still plenty of games to play.

Tuesday night, it sure looked like it. When the Magic needed a spark, they found one. When they needed a big play, they found one. When they made a mistake, they made up for it.

When they needed to win, they put their stamp on the game.

After losing an eight-point lead with four minutes to play thanks to a foul on a 3-pointer and then another quick basket, the Magic found themselves in a tie game with about two minutes to play.

Orlando turned to the hot hand but turned to its defense to put the game away. The Memphis Grizzlies went the final 1:58 without making a field goal, getting a foul on a 3-pointer as their only points in the final two minutes. And Terrence Ross put the game away.

The Magic turned a miss in a 112-112 tie game into a Terrence Ross 3-pointer in the corner. They went the next possession with a pin down curl for Ross that he calmly drained. Ross scored 18 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter, sparking the Magic to complete a comeback. their defense did the rest to contest and stymie the Grizzlies on the road for a 120-115 win.

Orlando had overcome a 17-point first-half deficit as the team came out completely flat and unable to stop Jonas Valanciunas in the post. But the Magic gradually fought their way back, erasing a 13-point halftime deficit behind a focused defensive effort.

That defense helped spark the team’s transition play. And the team was suddenly playing on the right foot, moving the ball quickly around the perimeter and inside out and driving the ball into the heat of the defense.

Orlando upped its physicality to match what Memphis did early and the team proved more than capable of taking a firm hold. Even if there is still plenty to work on. The Magic can count another solid come-from-behind win over the Grizzlies late in the season.

A+. Terrence Ross scuttled through much of the season as he missed shots and the Orlando Magic struggled to get him open. Things were not moving for him. But Ross also was not loosening defenses with his difficult shot-making. Something has changed recently and the torch is lit for Ross. And a Ross with confidence is one of the most dangerous weapons in the league.<p>Ross scored 18 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter. He started not from the outside but by beating his defender backdoor twice. <a rel=. G/F. Orlando Magic. TERRENCE ROSS

G. Orlando Magic. MICHAEL CARTER-WILLIAMS. A+. The Orlando Magic were dead in the water midway through the first quarter. The Memphis Grizzlies were bullying them and just dominating them on the inside. The Magic were stunned and seemed to have no answers. They needed a spark. That is <a href=

C+. <a href=. C. Orlando Magic. NIKOLA VUCEVIC

B. With the Orlando Magic struggling to establish an inside presence early on, the Memphis Grizzlies were almost forcing the team to turn to <a href=. PG. Orlando Magic. MARKELLE FULTZ

B. The Memphis Grizzlies could do no wrong for much of the first half. They were the more physical team and pushed the Orlando Magic around on both ends of the floor. They forced turnovers, they hit threes and they just dominated the game. This is Memphis Grizzlies basketball.<p>The Magic would have their say in the second half. They upped their physicality and made it difficult for the Grizzlies to get the same kinds of looks. Memphis did not fold by any means. The Grizzlies kept fighting and kept themselves in the game. But they could not stop the storm that was coming. Orlando broke a Memphis defense that has been very good of late.</p><p>The Grizzlies are still a young team. That immaturity was clear down the stretch. Ja Morant is not afraid of big moments, but he missed several key shots and rushed several possessions down the stretch. The Magic played like the experienced composed team that they are.</p>. 32-33. 8th West. MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES

The Orlando Magic are now 30-35, one-half game behind the Brooklyn Nets for seventh in the Eastern Conference and 5.5 games ahead of the Washington Wizards for the final playoff spot. The Magic’s magic number to clinch a playoff spot is 12 Magic wins or 12 Wizards losses.

Orlando Magic return home with that playoff feeling. dark. Next

The Orlando Magic return home to face the Chicago Bulls on Thursday at the Amway Center.