3 Orlando Magic Takeaways: Orlando Magic unable to slow down Brooklyn Nets

Kevin Durant got into hiss zone to lead the Brooklyn Nets over the Orlando Magic. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Durant got into hiss zone to lead the Brooklyn Nets over the Orlando Magic. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

90. 38. Final. 123. 147

The Orlando Magic came into Wednesday’s game against the star-studded Brooklyn Nets hoping to build off an impressive victory against the Utah Jazz on Sunday. They knew it would not be easy as the team tries to find consistency in the early part of the season.

Worse still, the Brooklyn Nets were surely going to be focused and hungry after a 118-95 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Monday. They had a lot to prove and a lot to play for to return to their championship standard.

The championship team taught the young team a lesson. And the Magic, after a monumental victory, are seemingly back to the drawing board.

Kevin Durant led the Brooklyn Nets with a consistent offensive performance, going 11 for 12 from the field to finish with 30 points. The Magic were unable to match the Nets’ level of play,and fell to 3-9)on the season in a 123-90 loss at the Amway Center on Wednesday.

The Orlando Magic met a buzzsaw in Kevin Durant and struggled to keep up as they fell apart in the fourth quarter of a blowout defeat.

On top of a 33 point loss, the Magic also lost Wendell Carter to an apparent eye injury in the third quarter. Carter also missed time last year with an eye injury.

Magic couldn’t connect from 3

The game was frustrating to watch, due mainly to the Orlando Magic shooting horridly from three. The team finished 4 for 33 (12.0-percent) from beyond the arc. The Magic missed a lot of wide-open shots that could have helped the team get over the hump and close the gap. The Magic trailed by 11 late in the third quarter with a chance to cut the deficit to single digits at the foul line.

But Brooklyn closed the game on a tough run and opened the lead back to 18.

Orlando also had lots of trouble finding good shots, especially during that fourth-quarter run. The Nets were able to build their lead and keep it.

Brooklyn did that from deep, making 16 of 38 (42.1-percent) from three. The Nets had wide-open looks all night.

The Magic oftentimes looked lost on defense, as they consistently sent help defenders to cut off dribble drives from Kevin Durant and James Harden. By doing so, the Magic left passing lanes open and Brooklyn players took wide-open shots.

Cole Anthony comes back down to earth

Cole Anthony, who has been the engine of the Orlando Magic’s offense so far this season, is averaging 20.2 points. Wednesday, he struggled tremendously to hit shots, finishing with 10 points on 4-for-12 shooting.

The Brooklyn Nets did a good job crowding him and Anthony, as he has throughout the season, struggled to break through the team’s switching scheme. Anthony simply could not get to the lane or set up the pull-up game that he has been so effective with all year.

Brooklyn deserves credit for slowing him down. But Anthony also struggled to find his spots in the game to score and the poor ball movement did not help him out either.

Although it is still very early in the season, Anthony has looked like a prominent candidate for Most Improved Player. Not only is he scoring, but the way he is scoring, and the way the team leans on him, has drawn attention.

But he is still very up and down as a player. He is working on his consistency.

Franz Wagner had an interesting performance

As a team, the Orlando Magic struggled heavily to guard the 3-point line. This team is obviously working on its defensive chemistry.

In the second quarter, LaMarcus Aldridge was left open repeatedly when he was hot as the team tried to commit bodies to slowing down Kevin Durant and James Harden. Franz Wagner was the main one defending LaMarcus Aldridge on this run, which helped fuel the Nets to a double-digit lead. Aldridge finished with 21 points in 22 minutes of play.

But with that being said,  Wagner showed a lot of potential, finishing with six steals and repeatedly frustrating Durant throughout the evening — despite Durant’s gaudy stat line. As a rookie, there was no chance of Wagner slowing down Durant — he only missed one shot all night — but Wagner passed the eye test, and made Durant work for his points.

Next. Orlando Magic's confidence is slowly building. dark

The Orlando Magic fall to 3-9 on the season. They will wrap up their five-game homestand on Saturday against the Washington Wizards.