Orlando, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Nikola Vucevic turned in one of the best performances of his young career, tallying 30 points and 21 rebounds to help the Orlando Magic to a 98-90 win over the Los Angeles Clippers from Amway Center.
Baskets were hard to come by in the final period as both teams settled down defensively. The Magic led 88-87 with just over two minutes to play when Blake Griffin received a feed from J.J. Redick at the top of the key and drained a deep jumper. Arron Afflalo hit a turn-around from the baseline moments later, and Orlando was back on top.
The Clippers came up empty on their next two possessions around a Vucevic jumper. The USC product then put the game away at the free throw line.
E'Twaun Moore came off the bench to provide 12 points for Orlando, which remained undefeated in three tries at home this season. Afflalo, Jameer Nelson and Victor Oladipo all had 11 points.
Griffin and Chris Paul registered double-doubles for LA. Griffin went for 23 points and 13 rebounds while Paul netted 18 points and 10 assists before fouling out. DeAndre Jordan pulled down 19 boards.
"A lot of credit goes to them. They executed all night, they made us guard and once again our defense failed us," admitted Paul.
Oladipo checked in the game with 4:22 left in the first and the Magic leading 16-14 and made an immediate impact, assisting on an Moore jumper before hitting a triple in transition. The rookie then stripped Paul and drew a foul on the other end to force an LA timeout. Orlando led 29-20 after 12 minutes.
Vucevic and Nelson combined for 15 points in the second quarter as Orlando pushed its lead to 15 by halftime. They led by at least eight for the duration of the period. The Magic scored 18 of their 28 second quarter points in the paint, while Nelson's deep 3-pointer with 31.6 seconds left resulted in the halftime margin.
Redick's baseline jumper with 4:11 left in the third was part of a 29-5 Los Angeles run, as the Clippers charged back to take a 74-72 lead after three quarters.
"They made their run and we took the blow," Nelson said. "We executed well, we stuck to our game plan and even when they executed against our game plan and were successful, we stuck with it."
Orlando has now won 11 of the last 13 meetings with the Clippers ... LA forward Matt Barnes missed the contest with a right thigh contusion and is considered day-to-day ... Redick scored 17 points ... The Clippers shot just 3-of-19 from behind the arc ... Orlando outscored LA in the paint, 44-30.