Magic learning to not let mistakes build on themselves

Khobi Price, Orlando Sentinel on

Published in Basketball

For nearly 6 1/2 minutes, everything was going well for the Orlando Magic against the Golden State Warriors on Monday at the Chase Center.

The Magic had a 14-11 lead and had only recorded one giveaway — a Gary Harris offensive goaltending turnover on a putback dunk attempt.

From there, the Magic’s mistakes — both self-inflicted and forced — led to them unraveling in their 126-95 loss to the Warriors.

The first live-ball turnover? A Terrance Ross cross-court jump pass intended for Chuma Okeke that Jordan Poole intercepted before assisting Gary Payton II on a fastbreak layup to give the Warriors a 19-15 lead with 3:39 in the first quarter.

The Magic had two more giveaways within the last 3 1/2 minutes of the first before having five within a five-minute period in which Orlando had five turnovers within 13 possessions — including one offensive rebound — to help the Warriors take a 48-37 lead midway through the second quarter.

The Magic finished the first half down, 65-44, after allowing the Warriors to score 23 points off their 11 turnovers in the opening two quarters. Golden State won by 31 after scoring 38 points off the Magic’s season-high 23 turnovers.

“I think we have to have a clear mind when we’re playing basketball, a clear mind when shots go in [or] we make a mistake,” said R.J. Hampton, who led the Magic with turnovers. “It’s the next play mentality. We can’t hang our heads over two made shots, two turnovers. We have to get it back.”

Hampton added that it’s on every player to make sure the team settles down during moments it isn’t executing like on Monday.


“We kind of knew it was unraveling and we knew we needed to get it back,” he said. “It’s not just one person who controls all of us coming together as a team and calming down. Us as a unit have to allow each other to play through mistakes and pick each other up.”

Magic coach Jamahl Mosley gave credit to the Warriors’ defense, which has been elite at forcing errors, for Orlando’s sloppy play.

He also acknowledged that instead of forcing the issue on certain possessions, making “the simple play, the easy pass, the simple read” would help the Magic.

“It’s positioning on the floor. It’s making the simple play versus the one extra dribble in the paint,” Mosley said. “I think we turned it over about three or four times on backdoor cuts. Our guys are trying to make the right plays. It’s not out of selfish gain, it’s out of trying to make the right play.”

It should be easier for the Magic to make the right play against their next opponent, the Sacramento Kings. The Kings (10-14) are a bottom-10 team in both defensive turnover percentage and points allowed per 100 possessions.

“We’ll study and continue to understand where we can get better, continue to grow and we’ll have to transfer that over to the next game,” Mosley said. “This one’s going to sting, they’ve got to understand that and we’ll move on to the next game after studying this one.”

©2021 Orlando Sentinel. Visit Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.