|4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 PM MST6:00 PM EST3:00 UAE (+1)00:0019:00 ET5:00 PM CT22:00 , November 1, 2019
Amway Center, Orlando, Florida Attendance: 15,105
Magic, Vucevic seek improvement vs. Bucks
The Orlando Magic go as center Nikola Vucevic goes, which may explain the club's slow start to the season.
An All-Star last season, Vucevic struggled to find his shooting touch through the first three games as the Magic limped to a 1-2 record.
After knotting their mark at 2-2 with a win over the New York Knicks on Wednesday, the Magic host the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday in the first meeting between the Eastern Conference playoff teams from a season ago.
The Milwaukee matchup is the middle game of a set of three in four nights at Orlando.
Vucevic, 29, is one of only three Magic players in franchise history to average 20 points and 12 rebounds in a season, which he did in 2018-19.
However, the Swiss native's errant shooting, along with the team's struggles, especially from beyond the 3-point arc, was a major downfall in the first three games.
Orlando clicked on 43 percent shooting and made just 9 of 30 3-point attempts in a season-opening 94-85 home win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, then shot at a meager 35.4 percent clip and went 5-for-31 on treys in a loss in Atlanta.
In Monday's 104-95 loss to the Toronto Raptors, the 7-foot pivot turned in the worst shooting performance of his eight-plus seasons in the NBA.
Vucevic connected just once in 13 shots against the defending world champions, leading to some extra shooting practice and film room work.
"A lot of it is just about making shots because I feel we're getting good shots for the most part," said Vucevic of the overall shooting woes surrounding the team. "We're (getting) good looks we made all last year, but (we) struggled in the first three games.
"The good thing is we're still getting good shots and now we've just got to make them."
On Wednesday, Vucevic (8-for-17 shooting) notched 21 points and 13 rebounds, and the Magic shot 42 percent from the field in a 95-83 win over the Knicks.
Milwaukee, which topped the Eastern Conference with a 60-22 mark last season, is also 2-2 after a 116-105 road loss against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday.
And the Bucks, who led by 16 after the first half, likely departed New England feeling like they let one slip away.
The Celtics embarked on a massive 37-11 run that began in the third quarter and carried into the fourth. The streak produced a 91-80 Boston lead, and the club coasted from there.
Khris Middleton paced the Bucks with 26 points, reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo chipped in 22 points and 14 boards, and the Bucks' bench outscored Boston's 37-8.
However, Antetokounmpo became frustrated late in the game.
He was charged with a hard foul after getting tied up with Marcus Smart -- both players fell hard to the TD Garden floor -- and then received a technical foul in the last 30 seconds.
Like Vucevic, the Bucks will have some film viewing before the game in Orlando.
"We couldn't stop them," Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer said of the second half. "We need to be so much better on that end of the court. I think we'll look at the film and see how we can get better defensively."
--Field Level Media
Updated October 31, 2019