ORLANDO – Getting off to hot starts were key in Magic Gaming’s wins over Wizards District Gaming, Knicks Gaming and Raptors Uprising GC earlier in TIPOFF group play. They only missed seven first-half shots combined in those victories.
That was not the case on Thursday evening against Celtics Crossover Gaming, as Orlando struggled to take care of the ball early and mustered up just 24 points on 10-of-16 shooting overall and 2-of-8 3-point shooting prior to intermission and ultimately fell 71-58.
“The biggest thing was they were forcing turnovers, putting us in spots that weren’t comfortable for us and got to us in that way,” Magic Gaming General Manager and Head Coach Jonah Edwards said. “More than anything, that was probably what led to them having a good start and what just became too much to overcome down the stretch.”
Boston, meanwhile, caught fire early, especially from 3-point range. In the first 10 minutes, the C’s knocked down seven triples.
Orlando didn’t roll over, though. It pulled within seven at 53-46 early in the fourth quarter before Boston went on a 7-0 run to reclaim momentum.
“Leche” Jamous led Celtics Crossover Gaming with 30 points on 12-for-17 shooting overall and 6-for-9 from beyond the arc, while Sheriff “FT” Cruz pitched in with 18 points and Torin “TayZo” Williams scored 13.
Joshua “unguardable” Hunter, an early 5v5 season MVP candidate, had another strong outing for Orlando with 22 points and nine assists, while Jarvis “Simptoms” Thompson finished with 14 points.
Ball movement and limiting turnovers had previously been two of Orlando’s main strengths. But, in this game, the Magic only racked up 14 assists while committing nine turnovers.
With TIPOFF group play now complete for Magic Gaming, the team will now go back and review what they did well and what still needs improvement.
“The strength is that we’re a very strong unit in general. We have the kind of group that sticks together,” Edwards said. “At the same time, I think our weakness is our energy when we are losing in games. We are low energy when we are losing in games. When we have that early bad start, it kind of puts us in a bad spot the rest of the game and it shouldn’t be that way. It’s easy to have a bad quarter in this game. It’s very easy to have some fluke moments happen and you have to be able to overcome if you are going to be a competitive team in big moments.”
The Magic (3-3) will know by the end of the night whether they will advance to bracket play or not. The top four teams from each group qualify.