Orlando leading scorer Aaron Gordon missed Saturday’s 117-110 loss to the Hawks because of a concussion, further draining the short-handed Magic.
The 6-foot-9 Gordon, averaging 18.5 points per game, was injured Friday as the Magic lost to Denver. Mario Hezonja started in Gordon’s spot Saturday night.
Magic backup point guard D.J. Augustin, played 27 minutes despite having a bruised thigh. Orlando is already without guard Evan Fournier (sprained ankle), a guard averaging 18.3 points, guard/forward Terrence Ross (sprained knee, leg fracture) and rookie forward Jonathan Isaac (sprained ankle).
Orlando called up third-year forward Adreian Payne from their G League affiliate in Lakeland, Florida.
Coach Frank Vogel said before the game he couldn’t recall being so depleted for a game. “All at once?” he said. “Probably not.”
The Magic had significant travel problems coming from Orlando, as they were unable to fly out Friday night because the airport in Atlanta was snowed in. The team’s flight was delayed again Saturday morning, the team had problems with their bus upon arriving, and then Vogel’s hotel key didn’t work.
“We took all the risk” on the arena, Jurich insists, pointing out that the athletic budget is heavily dependent on arena funds. When told that the city and taxpayers primarily support the arena, Jurich says he wanted to build it on campus, but city officials persuaded him to move it downtown. “Nobody twisted their arm,” he says. “They brought this offer to us. I didn’t go to them and say I got to have this, this and this and this.”
Told of Jurich’s comments, Wayne, the state representative, responds: “That’s pure hogwash. They didn’t take any risk. When you’re getting over 90 percent of all the suite revenue and 90 percent of that revenue goes to the University of Louisville’s athletic facilities, and their funds, where’s the risk?”