The story of the first half for the Orlando Magic had to be Nikola Vucevic. In the first quarter he had nine points as well as four rebounds. He finished the half with 11 points and eight rebounds. His development has been a welcome surprise to Magic fans. If his play today is a sign of things to come, he will quickly become not only a fan favorite in Orlando, but a household name amongst NBA fans.
Orlando struggled early in the game falling behind 12-2 midway through the first quarter, and by as many as 13 at one point. But a nice run to start the second quarter capped by an Andrew Harkless baseline jam tied the game at 33 with 9:21 to play in the half. Ish Smith had a nice first half off the bench for Orlando, scoring seven points while adding two rebounds and two assists, including a monster slam dunk in the second quarter. He also set up one of the best one, two, pass plays you will see all season. Smith penetrated the lane, passed to McRoberts between his legs who then proceded to go behind his back to Nicholson who hit a baseline jumper.
Chris Paul and Blake Griffin led the way for the Clippers, who hit 10 of their first 13 shots to start the game. Paul and Griffin hooked up on a highlight worthy break away alley-oop play early on to set the tone. Griffin led all scorers with 16 points in the first half to go along with six assists. Chris Paul only had five points, but with seven assists and two steals, he led the team to a 57-49 lead for the Clippers at the half. Former Magic player, Matt Barnes, was 2-2 from 3-point range in the first half against his old team.
Tune in to FSN Florida now to see if Orlando can battle back in the second half!