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Orlando Magic win basement battle 105-99 over the Phoenix Suns

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Aaron Gordon nearly has triple-double against reeling Suns

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Orlando Magic Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Gordon had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists, and Nikola Vucevic added 24 points and 11 rebounds to propel the Orlando Magic to a 105-99 win over the Phoenix Suns, who were without both Devin Booker and T.J. Warren due to injuries.

In a game where neither team played much defense, it tended to swing back and forth like a pendulum. The Magic led 26-23 after the 1st quarter, but a 23-12 2nd quarter by the Suns, sparked by terrific play off the bench from Alex Len and Tyler Ulis, gave Phoenix a 46-38 lead at the half. Len scored 11 of his 15 points in the 1st half, with Ulis joining him by chipping in eight of his 14.

The Magic opened the 3rd quarter with a 16-7 run, though, to narrow the gap, and a later 12-0 run shifted control to Orlando, taking a 77-74 lead into the 4th quarter. A quick 4-0 run by Phoenix was followed by an 8-0 Magic run to lead 85-78 early in the 4th.

The final straw in this game came when Phoenix cut the Magic lead to 101-97 on an Elfrid Payton layup with 1:16 left. On the ensuing possession, Mario Hezonja beat the Phoenix defense backdoor for an easy layup that pushed the Magic back ahead 103-97. Payton missed a quick shot afterward, and the Suns couldn’t muster enough offense or defense late to make a serious charge.

Josh Jackson led the Suns with 18 points, Len finished with 15 points and nine rebounds (six offensive), and Payton finished with 14 points, eight assists, five rebounds, and three steals in his first game against his former team. Six Suns finished in double figures on the second game of this back-to-back set.

Aside from the efforts of Gordon and Vucevic, D.J. Augustin had 15 points and 10 assists, and Hezonja had 14 points.

The Suns dropped to 19-55 with eight games remaining on the schedule.