Victor Oladipo wanted to play all 82 games of his rookie season.
That's impossible now.
"It's just overall soreness a little bit," coach Jacque Vaughn said before tipoff. "I can't say that it was a particular incident that happened in a game. Just overall soreness and probably you guys jinxing him and talking about [how] he's played every game."
Vaughn meant the last part of his comment as a joke, but Oladipo indeed had played in the Magic's first 62 games this season.
Jameer Nelson didn't play Wednesday, either.
Team officials said Nelson was feeling sick. The veteran point guard didn't practice Tuesday because of the illness.
No hard feelings
Rockets center Dwight Howard played in his second game in Orlando since the Magic traded him in Aug. 2012, and Howard seemed loose and relaxed as tipoff approached.
He wasn't sure if fans would be a little less hostile Wednesday night than they were when he returned with the Los Angeles Lakers on March 12, 2013.
"Last year it was a little bit fresh for a lot of the Magic fans," Howard said.
"They were really upset with how things went down. But at the end of the day, I think time heals all wounds, and even though it's only been a year, I've forgiven the people that I needed to forgive. Hopefully, the fans here will forgive me for how the situation ended. But my love for the city will never change."
Later, Howard said, "I've grown the last couple years, and it's made me a better person. So I'm excited about my future, our team's future, and it seems like things that are going on here are great. So I'm excited to see the future of the Magic."
On Wednesday night, Oladipo was named the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for February. It was the second time he earned the monthly honor, tying him with his chief rival for Rookie of the Year honors, Michael Carter-Williams.
Rockets small forward Chandler Parsons grew up as a diehard Magic fan, attended Lake Howell High School and the University of Florida.
On Wednesday, he played his second regular-season game at Amway Center.
Parsons said he left 100 postgame passes for family, friends and family friends.
He was asked how he would have reacted if he was just a regular Magic fan — not a professional player with any inside knowledge — and attended Wednesday's game. Would he have booed Howard?
"Oh, I'd probably boo him," Parsons answered. "That's what makes playing on the road so fun and exciting: that you support your home team, and any time someone leaves a team, you're going to be upset. Obviously, it's a business decision, and he had to do what's best for him. But as a fan, you don't care about anything else besides that he left the Magic."
Parsons, now in his third NBA season, keeps making strides on the court.
He entered Wednesday’s game with career-high averages in points (16.6), rebounds (5.6) and assists (3.8). Parsons also had career highs in field-goal percentage (.489) and 3-point percentage (.386)
"He's shooting the ball a lot better," Vaughn said. "I always felt that he had a great sense of how to play the game of basketball, just old-school drive-and-kick [and] spacing. Those things, he really is good at, and I think he helps that team. With his increased shooting now there's just a different dynamic to his game."