|Magic road trip ends against Trail Blazers|
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Coming off a 110-100 loss at Golden State on Monday, the Orlando Magic hope to end a four-game road trip on a winning note when they visit Moda Center to face the Portland Trail Blazers Wednesday night.
"I have confidence in this team's resiliency," Orlando coach Frank Vogel said. "We have an opportunity to go 2-2 on a tough trip. That's our only focus."
Orlando (8-6) began the trip with a 128-112 victory at Phoenix on Friday. The Magic fell 125-107 at Denver the next night, then were tripped up by the defending champion Warriors.
"Our only goal now is to go 2-2, to go to Portland and get a win," Orlando power forward Aaron Gordon said.
Gordon is off to a splendid start to his fourth NBA season, averaging 18.3 points and 7.9 rebounds while shooting .537 from the field and .519 from 3-point range, ranking third in the league in the latter category. But the 6-9, 220-pound Gordon made only 4 of 13 shots from the field while collecting 10 points and 10 rebounds against the Warriors.
"Lack of patience on my part," Gordon said. "I really feel we could have won that game had we done a couple of things differently.
"The ball has to keep moving. It stuck a little too much. (The Warriors) switch so much, it forces you into more one-on-one ball. They do a really good job of staying home."
Orlando has one of the best front lines in the league, with Gordon, small forward Evan Fournier and center Nikola Vucevic. Fournier leads the Magic with a 19.6-point scoring average, shooting an outstanding .513 from the field and .436 on 3-point attempts. Vucevic averages 17.9 points and 7.3 rebounds, shooting .507 from the field and .403 from beyond the arc.
Portland (7-6) is coming off its most complete performance of the season in a 99-82 dismantling of Northwest Division rival Denver on Monday. The Blazers shot a season-best .521 from the field and held the Nuggets (8-6) to a season-low .357 mark. It was the poorest shooting game by a Portland opponent all season.
The Blazers had lost their previous two games and were only 4-4 at home this season going into the Denver outing.
"We knew what was at stake," said guard CJ McCollum, who made 7 of 11 shots from the field, including 3 of 5 from 3-point range, en route to a 17-point game. "We didn't want to lose three games in a row. We didn't want to have another letdown against a very good team that was playing extremely well. We knew we had to raise our level of intensity, especially at the defensive end."
Veteran forward Ed Davis hopes the performance is a portent of what is ahead.
"If you hold a team under 90, you're going to win," he said. "Even though our record is not what we want it to be, I feel like if we're defending every game, it's going to turn around eventually.
"I hope this is the one that starts a little streak, where we can get hot and put together a seven- or eight-game win streak."