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Magic hold off Kings to end three-game skid
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SACRAMENTO (AP) — Aaron Gordon had 20 points and 11 rebounds, and Victor Oladipo scored six of his 18 points during a 40-second stretch of the fourth quarter to help lead the Orlando Magic to a 107-100 win over the Sacramento Kings on Friday night.
Evan Fournier and Jason Smith scored 16 points apiece and C.J. Watson added 10 points and five assists to help the slumping Magic end their three-game losing streak.
Orlando wasted a 14-point lead in the first half and was up 89-81 with 8 minutes left to play when Oladipo took over. He made a deep jumper from just inside the 3-point line and followed it up with back-to-back dunks.
Gordon added four points down the stretch and Smith had six of his points late to help the Magic hold off the Kings.
Kosta Koufos had 19 points to lead Sacramento.
Both teams without respective leading scorers and rebounders.
Sacramento suspended center DeMarcus Cousins one game for conduct detrimental to the team following his outburst against coach George Karl late during Wednesday’s 120-111 home loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Orlando was also short-handed. Nikola Vucevic missed his third straight game with a groin strain while point guard Elfrid Payton, who sat out with a sprained right elbow.
It didn’t seem to bother the Magic much.
Orlando, which lost to Sacramento 97-91 on Nov. 21, trailed briefly in the third quarter but was otherwise dominant in this matchup of teams struggling to hold onto dwindling playoff hopes.
Not even Karl’s return was enough to snap the Kings out of their slump. Karl returned to the team after missing practice Thursday while being treated for skin cancer on the left side of his neck.
Orlando jumped out to a 16-2 lead less than six minutes into the first quarter and took advantage of a sloppy and listless Sacramento team that has been dealing with off-court drama for much of the season.
The Kings made a brief run to chip away at the lead in the second quarter and tied it briefly on Marco Belinelli’s three-point play with 4:11 left before the Magic took a 50-49 lead halftime.
Ersan Ilyasova scored eight points coming out of the break to help extend Orlando’s advantage to 80-75 heading into the fourth.
Kings: Sacramento, which opened the game 3 of 11 and had six turnovers in the first 9 minutes, fell to 2-8 without Cousins. ... G Ben McLemore remained out with a broken right ring finger. ... Belinelli scored 17 points in 28 minutes after sitting out Wednesday’s loss to Cleveland with back spasms.
 ... Seth Curry was also back on the bench following a short absence due to a sprained right foot. The younger brother of reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry made a late 3-pointer to pull the Kings within 27-21 at the end of the first quarter.
Magic: At Portland on Saturday.
Kings: Host Utah on Sunday.