Originally written on Orlando Magic Daily  |  Last updated 11/17/14
The Magic were too determined to lose this one. Not after going through 12 games of bitter disappointment and strong play let down by momentary lapses. Not after seeing so many guys go down to injury and so many leads dissipate or margins grow. The losing streak has been frustrating to watch. The Magic have had opportunities slip away and the team was clearly not satisfied with the results. Orlando finally put everything together and finally got off the schneid. An energetic effort from Kyle O'Quinn and Gustavo Ayon off the bench and the spirited return of J.J. Redick to the lineup buoyed the Magic to a 13-point lead in the first half and a lead throughout the entire second half. Orlando had the ball moving and defended well, putting everything together for a 110-104 win over Portland at Amway Center on Sunday night.   Score Off. Rtg. eFG% O.Reb.% TO% FTR Portland 104 106.9 56.6 13.2 13.7 14.5 Orlando 110 117.1 53.2 34.0 9.0 19.4 The Magic really got back to basics to win this game. They found the formula that made them so successful at the beginning of the season. That would be strong defense that emphasizes closing off the paint and an offense that relies on ball movement and pick and rolls to free up shooters. First, the defense was really the biggest stunner after the disappointing effort Friday in Cleveland. No, Orlando's defense was not absolutely lock-down, so to speak. The Blazers still scored 100 points and shot 50.6 percent from the floor. However, much of that had to come on jumpers. LaMarcus Aldridge struggled to get going in the paint. He scored the majority of his 25 points in the third quarter on jumpers. Damian Lillard struggled to get into the paint and create for himself and for others. The stellar rookie finished with four points on 1-for-16 shooting, although he still had 12 assists. The paint protection started with some strong on-ball defense from Nikola Vucevic and then the pure energy from Kyle O'Quinn and Gustavo Ayon. Ayon set the tone in the second quarter, timing it just right to deny Lillard at the rim on a layup. He found himself in the right position so many times as Orlando closed the paint off. It says something that the Magic outscored the Blazers 60-46 in the paint. That attention to the paint did mean Portland got open for three a few times. That was something the Magic seemed willing to concede. Nicolas Batum scored 11 points in quick succession in the second quarter to cut deep into the Magic's double-digit lead. Portland did make 10 of 27 3-pointers. The Magic's offense was so devastatingly efficient and in sync that it did not matter. {youtube}kJOGSA5maoc{/youtube} Orlando ran its pick and rolls brilliantly with Jameer Nelson spending most of the first half driving and looking to distribute. Nelson finished with a career-high 15 assists before finding his shooting touch to score 10 points, many of them in the third quarter. Orlando, as a team, recorded 34 assists. Gustavo Ayon recorded six on his own and added 16 points and 11 rebounds, hustling to get to loose balls and offensive rebounds throughout the evening. J.J. Redick had 22 points and five assists himself. What made the Magic's offense so effective was that they often made the extra pass. It was never the first guy receiving the ball that scored oftentime, it was the next guy. And then when the Magic missed, particularly in the first half, they were the first ones on the offensive glass. Orlando grabbed 17 offensive rebounds with Nikola Vucevic grabbing six of his 19 off the offensive glass. The Magic took very good care of the ball and were often getting second chances to score. {youtube}TEMWN2yDQag{/youtube} That is simply something you cannot do. Once the team got its momentum going, confidence seemed to be flowing. Nobody expected Ayon to be so key in keeping the ball moving. He made some incredible passes to cutters and his teammates rewarded him with finishes. The positive reinforcement bred confidence throughout the roster as just about everyone played well. Jacque Vaughn actually had a difficult decision to make with Kyle O'Quinn providing a spark early before Ayon stepped in and began changing the game with his passing. Orlando's confidence could clearly be seen in the way the team turned back any run Portland could make. The Magic did not look like a team that had lost 12 in a row, in other words. They looked like the dominant team. They looked like a team finally fulfilling the expectations they had for themselves. Now it is time to keep building.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Yankees wanted Rollins but Phillies' price was too high

Pop misses game for medical reasons; Messina takes over

John Beilein upset with ESPN for late start time to game

Tyson Chandler felt like Knicks' scapegoat at times

Fred Jackson has 'no respect' for Donte Whitner

Devon Still responds to unpaid child support allegations

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Diamondbacks sign Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas

Josh Gordon felt alienated by some in Browns organization

Jerry Jones: I'm a big admirer of Robert Griffin III

Raiola fined for uneccesarily striking Pats' Zach Moore

Report: Michigan keeping Jim Hackett on as athletic director

LeBron James on Ferguson: 'Violence is not the answer'

Steelers turned down chance to be called 'America's Team'

Report: Small chance Raiders-Rams could be moved to Indy

Todd Gurley begins rehab after surgery on knee for torn ACL

Brodeur to practice with Blues

OSU player posts Michigan player's girlfriend as his 'WCW'

Jim Harbaugh's family may not eat turkey thanks to NBC

Ole Miss' The Grove threatened by Mississippi State fan

Is it time for the Redskins to move on from Robert Griffin III?

Top 10 fantasy football turkeys for 2014

WATCH: Coyotes lose in ugly fashion, score own goal in OT

Warriors are having tons of fun on team plane

Jenn Sterger hints she'll be back in her FSU cowgirl gear for game

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Steelers could have been America's Team

John Beilein upset with ESPN

Should Washington move on from RG3?

Dominic Raiola fined for cheap shots

Game of the week: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos

Rose leaves with injury again

WATCH: Pierce signs for fan during game

Report: McCoy to start over RG3

Braxton Miller headed to Oregon?

10 most one-sided college football rivalries

Pierce: C's Big Three like 'Holy Trinity'

Maclin unhappy with Cooper comments

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.