When the Orlando Magic traded Victor Oladipo away, Evan Fournier was determined to be a bigger part of the offense. Thus far this season, he has shown improvements as a scorer. On Thursday night, he exploded against the Sacramento Kings. Orlando defeated Sacramento by a score of 102-94, as reported by ESPN.
Sacramento Kings starters
DeMarcus Cousins is considered by many as the best center in the NBA, so it should come as no surprise to see him having big games. Against the Orlando Magic, the 6-foot-11 star put up 33 points, seven rebounds, and four assists. Cousins even had two steals and a block. The Kings have not been able to surround him with a lot of good offensive players, so the former Kentucky Wildcats star should have plenty more games like this.
Rudy Gay scored 80 combined points in the past three games, so the 16 points that he scored against Orlando seemed a bit of a letdown. It appears that the veteran forward is fitting in well with the scheme that is being utilized by new Kings head coach Dave Joerger.
Ty Lawson produced his best game of the season with 11 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. Solid numbers, but he will need to do more if he wants to keep the starting position once guard Darren Collison comes back from his suspension.
Kosta Koufos had seven rebounds, but that was accomplished in just 20 minutes. Good energy.
After scoring 18 points against the Miami Heat, Sacramento was hoping that Arron Afflalo had broken out of his slump. The 6-foot-5 guard has even admitted that his energy on offense simply is not enough. Afflalo struggled to shoot, making one of his six attempts. That limited his playing time to just 18 minutes.
Sacramento Kings bench
Backup guard Ben McLemore and forward Omri Casspi combined for 23 points and nine rebounds. McLemore received extra minutes because of Arron Afflalo struggling on offense. Casspi played his first game back since being forced to miss a pair of games because of an illness.
After being benched in the previous game, Willie Cauley Stein was given 25 minutes of playing time, his most of the season. With just four points and a single rebound, Cauley Stein might find himself being glued to the bench again. Rookie forward Skal Labissiere might be given a chance soon.
Orlando Magic starters
Evan Fournier scored more than 20 points twice so far this season. He came close to breaking the 30-point mark against the Kings, missing it by just one point. Fournier managed to do that by shooting extremely well.
Since joining Orlando, Serge Ibaka seems a lot more focused on offense than defense. While he scored 17 points, he did so by missing five of the six shots that he took from beyond the three-point line. Ibaka also only pulled down three rebounds in 33 minutes, which is below standards for the 6-foot-10 forward.
After a two-game shooting slump, Aaron Gordon broke out and scored 13 points. He also grabbed 10 rebounds, while also adding a block and a steal. Gordon is developing into more than just an athletic player with flashy dunks.
Nikola Vucevic had a monster game against the Philadelphia 76ers with 24 points and 14 rebounds. He came back down to earth a bit against the Kings. Ten points, nine rebounds, and two steals are still a solid night for Vucevic.
Elfrid Payton struggled with his shot but kept himself useful by dishing out 11 assists.
Orlando Magic bench
The Magic had some help from a trio of veteran backups. Jeff Green made three of the four outside shots he took, which helped him provide 15 points. Bismack Biyombo helped defensively with nine rebounds, two steals, and a block. DJ Augustin had a solid game with eight points and five assists.
[Featured Image by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images]