Russell pours in 40, rallies Nets past Magic

EditorsNote: rewords second and fifth grafs; adds “Brooklyn points” in ninth graf

D’Angelo Russell scored a season-high 40 points to lead the visiting Brooklyn Nets to a 117-115, comeback win over the Orlando Magic on Friday night.

Spencer Dinwiddie added 20 points for the Nets, who have a winning record for the first time this season, 24-23. Brooklyn, which trailed by 21 points in the second quarter Friday, was 10 games below .500 through Dec. 5 but has gone 16-5 since.

Aaron Gordon led the Magic with 23 points, but he exited the game in the fourth quarter with lower back tightness and did not return. Nikola Vucevic had 16 points and 17 rebounds.

The Magic have taken two tough losses in a row, including an overtime defeat to Detroit on Wednesday. Orlando is 2-6 in its past eight games.

The Nets led 2-0 after Jarrett Allen made the first basket of the game. They weren’t in front again until Dinwiddie completed a four-point play with 54.9 seconds remaining, giving Brooklyn a 113-111 edge.

Vucevic tied the game on the Magic’s ensuing possession, but Russell followed that up with another 3-pointer to put the Nets back on top. Fournier’s driving layup to tie the game in the final seconds came up just short.

Orlando took a commanding lead in the second quarter and led 67-54 at halftime. The Magic maintained a double digit-lead from early in the second quarter until late in the third.

The Magic were on top 58-37 with 4:35 left in the half, but Russell got hot just before the break.

Russell scored 19 straight Brooklyn points, including five 3-pointers, in the final six minutes of the second quarter to get the Nets back into the game. Russell had 24 points at halftime, and he was 6-for-8 from beyond the 3-point arc.

He finished 8 of 12 from long distance.

Mo Bamba had nine points off the bench in his return for the Magic after missing the previous four games with a sore foot.

Brooklyn hosts Sacramento in an afternoon game on Monday. Orlando finishes up a back-to-back set of home games against Milwaukee on Saturday.

--Field Level Media