ORLANDO, Fla. — Aaron Gordon had 20 points and Elfrid Payton had 11 points and 12 assists as the Orlando Magic scored a season high in defeating the Nets, 139-105, on Tuesday night.
“It definitely would have meant more if we were chasing a playoff spot,Gordon said, “but we are still improving and still learning and becoming more familiar with each other.”
The Nets had no answer for all of Orlando’s scoring threats as coach Tony Brown made liberal use of his timeouts in the third quarter in attempt to slow things. But with the Magic guards finding Dedmon for easy alley-oops in the third period, there was little Brown and the Nets could do. Payton set the tone by keeping the ball moving and consistently getting his teammates involved in his second straight double-double.
“I think the mindset of the whole team, myself included, I think guys are worried that there’s not much time left, we’re not fighting for anything,” said Nets forward Thomas Robinson, who led his team with 18 points after starting for Thaddeus Young.
“No knock on our team, but mentally it’s tough to keep fighting in games and showing up every night the way things are going for us, and the end of the season being so close. I think that’s a problem we’ve got to shake real quick.”
Gordon was hot early, making his first six shots and scoring 13 points in the first quarter. Victor Oladipo and Evan Fournier had their moments and backup center Dewayne Dedmon, playing in place of injured Nikola Vucevic, scored 15 points
The Magic had eight players in double figures, including backups Andrew Nicholson with 24 and Jason Smith with 14.
Brook Lopez scored just five points in the first half and did not play in the second half.
The Magic led by as many as 36 points in the third quarter and 103-73 going into the fourth quarter. They shot 62 percent from the field and tied a season-high with 14 three-pointers. The Nets converted 47 percent from the field.
With Gordon leading the way, the Magic took control in the first quarter and then increased their lead to as many as 30 points in the second. They led 73-45 at halftime.
Gordon led the Magic with 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting in the opening half, while Fournier knocked down 6-of-8 shots for 15 points. Nicholson came off the bench and went 6 for 6 for 14 points and Smith added another 10.
The Magic shot 66 percent from the field in the first two quarters, a season high. They also converted 60 percent from three-point range.
Notes & quotes: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Thaddeus Young did not play and Jarrett Jack was inactive . . . Oladipo, the Magic’s second-leading scorer, returned to the starting lineup after sitting out the last two games with a wrist sprain. He had 7 points.