Victor Oladipo scored a career-high 35 points Wednesday night in the Orlando Magic’s heartbreaking 128-125 triple-overtime loss to the Chicago Bulls.
Because the game went into three extra periods, there’s a temptation to assume that Oladipo compiled his scoring total due to the extra time.
Oladipo finished regulation with 33 points on 14-of-19 shooting.
Oladipo drove to the basket almost at will, prompting raves from teammate Jameer Nelson.
“One thing about Vic: He’s faster than a hiccup, man!” Nelson said after the game. “Did you see how fast he gets to that basket? When you blink, he’s gone. He just takes advantage of the seams, and he’s doing a better job of recognizing what’s going on, how teams are playing him. He made some good shots and some good plays for us tonight.
“He has to stay in attack mode, whether it’s for himself or for the rest of the team. We believe in him. He’s a guy [for whom] we put the ball in his hands a lot. He’s going to have his growing pains, just like anybody else. But that’s what it’s about. It’s about us, when he does have those growing pains, picking him up and not getting discouraged.”
Oladipo’s inexperience initiating the offense was evident at times. Although he had eight assists, he also had eight turnovers.
Asked after the game how tired he felt, he responded, “I was more mad than exhausted,” Oladipo said. “I’m not going to lie. I’m more mad than exhausted right now.”
In addition to his drives, Oladipo also unveiled an improved floater from about 10 feet, a shot he’s been working on with Laron Profit, one of the Magic’s assistant coaches for player development.
Oladipo played 57 minutes and 11 seconds, the second-highest single-game total in team history.
The performance should give the rookie something to build on.
“I thought his attacks to the rim were really good,” coach Jacque Vaughn said. “His finishing at the rim was pretty impressive tonight. I thought he had a great pace about him.”
Josh Robbins covers the Orlando Magic and the NBA for the Orlando Sentinel. You can reach him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and connect with him on Facebook at facebook.com/JoshuaBRobbins. Follow him on Twitter at @JoshuaBRobbins.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun