LAKELAND — The Lakeland Magic, the NBA G League affiliate of the Orlando Magic, hit a franchise milestone this Friday.
The Magic, who received a first-round bye in the NBA G League Playoffs, defeated the Westchester Knicks 104-91 in a second round matchup to advance to the league’s Eastern Conference Final.
It is the second-year franchise’s first playoff victory, after reaching the playoffs in 2018 but losing in the first round. That the Magic did it in front of a raucous crowd of 2,388 at the RP Funding Center was just an added bonus for players such as Troy Caupain.
“Shout out to the people who came out to RP tonight — we appreciate you all,” Caupain said after scoring 14 points and hauling in six rebounds against the Knicks.
Lakeland was led by an impressive effort from Amile Jefferson, who scored a team-high 21 points and 10 rebounds. It was even more impressive considering Jefferson, a two-way player who splits time between the Lakeland and Orlando teams, was in Detroit the night before with the Orlando Magic and immediately got on a plane afterward to rejoin the NBA club for its game in Indianapolis.
Afterward, head coach Stan Heath expressed his admiration for the way Jefferson approached a chaotic stretch.
“He just shows up,” Heath said. “It’s a credit to him … he likes coming here and he likes being here with the guys.”