In his fourth game since he returned from a concussion, Nik Vucevic made progress as the Orlando Magic lost to the Indiana Pacers 98-79 Monday night.
Vucevic played almost 35 minutes — the most he's played in a game since he returned from the injury on Jan. 29. He also scored 16 points and collected 13 rebounds.
The 7-foot center said afterward that he has regained some of the endurance that he lost when he sat idle as he recovered from the concussion.
"I felt pretty good," Vucevic said. "I think I played pretty big minutes, and I was going against Roy Hibbert, a big guy. It takes a lot of energy [to play against him], and I felt pretty good out there. I moved pretty good. I'm still trying to get my legs under me a little bit, but it won't take too long, maybe a couple more games."
Rookie guard Victor Oladipo is enduring a bit of a shooting slump.
In his last two games combined, he made five of the 27 shots he attempted.
But against the Pacers, he didn't allow a 2-for-11 shooting night to hurt his focus as the team's primary point guard. He tied a career high by distributing 11 assists, and he only committed four turnovers.
"I missed a lot of shots that I can make — I really believe I can make — but I did a great job of balancing that," Oladipo said. "I think last game [against the Boston Celtics on Sunday] I didn't do too great of a job keeping my teammates involved but still being aggressive. I think I did a better job of that [against the Pacers]."
Later, he added: "I'll just continue to keep working on my shot and keep shooting with confidence."
On Thursday night, the players selected for All-Star weekend's Rising Stars Challenge will be placed on two different teams.
The group of 18 first- and second-year players includes Oladipo.
Turner Sports analysts Grant Hill and Chris Webber will serve as the teams' general managers and do the drafting during TNT's pregame show Thursday night at 7.
The Rising Stars Challenge will be played on Feb. 14 at New Orleans Arena.
The list of players selected to join Oladipo in the event includes Philadelphia 76ers point guard Michael Carter-Williams, New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis, Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond and Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard.
The Magic will continue their 25th-anniversay celebration when the team hosts the Oklahoma City Thunder this Friday night at Amway Center.
Former Magic general manager John Gabriel, former Magic forward and current Fox Sports Florida color commentator Jeff Turner and former Magic guard Sam Vincent will be honored at center court between the first and second quarters.
Turner played in 411 regular-season games for the Magic. Vincent played in 151 regular-season games for the franchise.
Vincent will appear on Fox Sports Florida's pregame show with Paul Kennedy and Nick Anderson.
Gabriel will join play-by-play man David Steele and Turner during a portion of the game telecast.
firstname.lastname@example.org. Read his blog at OrlandoSentinel.com/magicblog and follow him on Twitter at @JoshuaBRobbins.