It started Friday night with his sharply focused play in a 113-102
victory over the hapless Milwaukee Bucks.
Afflalo, who was frustrated by his exclusion on Thursday from the
Eastern Conference All-Star team, scored a game-high 21 points in 30
minutes, setting the tone early with his spirited play.
He scored 14 points in the first quarter, giving the Magic a
commanding lead they never lost. He hit 7 of 13 shots from the field
and 6 of 8 free throws, watching the Magic reserves finish the job
"I want to play every minute right now. It (the All-Star snub) has
given me a new level of passion, a hunger, to take through the rest
of the season," Afflalo said. "There is a fire burning inside. I
think my focus will be heightened in everything I do. It's not going
Afflalo, who is averaging a career-best 20 points and shooting 42
percent from 3-point range, also had five rebounds. He scored 36
points against Milwaukee earlier this season.
"He had a steely want in his eyes tonight when he came out," Magic
coach Jacque Vaughn said. "I just told him, in the second half of
the season, let the league know how good you are. I loved the way he
It was the fifth consecutive loss for the Bucks (8-38) and their 14
in their last 15 games. The Magic (13-35) beat the Bucks for the
16th consecutive time in Orlando.
The teams sport the two worst records in the NBA.
The Magic led much of the second half by 20 points or more, allowing
the Bucks to make the final score sound closer than the game really
was. The final 11-point margin was as close as the Bucks had been
since late in the first quarter. They scored 38 points in the fourth
quarter, but it was way too late.
"We've got to make more of a stand," Bucks coach Larry Drew said.
"Defensively, we just didn't do a good job tonight. We gave up 35
points in the first quarter, and that set the tone."
Bucks guard Caron Butler had 20 points, including 15 in the fourth
quarter when he hit four 3-point baskets, including one that became
a four-point play when he was fouled shooting.
Magic reserve forward Tobias Harris, who started last season in
Milwaukee, had 18 points and six rebounds. Rookie guard Victor
Oladipo had 15 points and seven assists. Magic point guard Jameer
Nelson did not play after the first quarter because of a sore left
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Bucks rookie Giannis Antetokounm had 15 points and guard Gary
Neal added 13. The Magic shot 51.8 percent (43 of 83) from the
field and the Bucks shot 44.8 percent (39 of 87).
The Magic led 88-64 when the fourth quarter began. They limited
Milwaukee to 18 points in the third quarter.
The Magic led 67-46 at intermission, riding a hot-shooting first
half and a good start by Afflalo and center Nikola Vucevic.
Afflalo had 17 points and Vucevic had 12 at halftime. It was the
most points they have scored in a half this season, and the most
the Bucks have allowed in an opening two quarters.
Afflalo had 14 points in the first quarter when the Magic jumped
to a 35-20 lead, the most points they have scored in an opening
quarter this season. The Bucks, with their 20th different
starting lineup, offered little resistance early.
Vucevic was playing in his second game after missing the
previous 12 because of an earlier concussion. Without him, the
Magic won only twice.
The Bucks committed 13 turnovers that became 17 points for the
Magic in the first half. The Bucks had one flurry late in the
second quarter when forward Ersan Ilyasova hit back-to-back
The Bucks play Saturday night in Memphis, and the Magic play
Sunday in Boston.
NOTES: The Magic have not lost to the Bucks in Orlando since
2004. ... Magic G Arron Afflalo, averaging 20 ppg, said not
making the Eastern Conference All-Star team will help him in the
second half of the season. "I would call it more motivating than
disappointing," Afflalo said. "I respect the coaches' opinions.
I would never criticize the process." ... Bucks C John Henson
was a surprise scratch on Friday night, missing the game with a
sore right wrist. The Bucks also were without C Zaza Pachulia
(right foot), C Ekpe Udoh (left ankle), F Carlos Delfino (right
foot) and G O.J. Mayo (sick). ... With all of Milwaukee's
injuries, this was the Bucks' 20th different starting lineup
this season. ... Magic F Maurice Harkless agreed to play this
summer with the Puerto Rico National team in the 2014 FIBA
Basketball World Cup in Spain. Although he was born in New York
City, Harkless qualified because his maternal grandfather was
from Puerto Rico. ... Bucks G Giannis Antetokounmpo and Magic G
Victor Oladipo were both selected for the Rising Stars Challenge
during All-Star Weekend.
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