NEW YORK -- Victor Oladipo stuck the dagger in the Brooklyn Nets and stayed in his follow-through -- long after his 3-pointer that gave the Orlando Magic a nine-point lead with 2:42 remaining had fallen.
But he wasn’t showboating.
“I was just holding it and making sure it went through the net -- even until [the ball] hit the ground, honestly,” said Oladipo, who drained a career-best six 3s in the Magic’s 83-77 victory over the free-falling Nets on Friday night at Barclays Center.
“I kinda get away from holding my follow-through, and that hurts me a little bit, but I’ve been doing a better job of it.”
Oladipo, who came in shooting just 29.2 percent from 3-point range (39.4 percent overall), went 6-for-8 from downtown en route to scoring 20 points, enabling the Magic (20-17) to snap a four-game losing streak.
“I work too hard for it not to go in,” Oladipo said. “I’m not gonna make every shot, but I work too hard for it not to go in, so I’m going to continue to shoot it with confidence.”
Orlando coach Scott Skiles has put a lot on the 23-year-old’s plate this season, bringing him off the bench for the majority of the 2015-16 campaign. And lately, Oladipo has been forced into point guard duty with starter Elfrid Payton ineffective and out due to injury.
But Oladipo has taken all of the change in stride.
“I’m blessed with the ability to do a lot of things,” said Oladipo, a strong perimeter defender. “So wherever [Scott] needs me to be, that’s where I’m going to be. I’m gonna go out there, play as hard as I can and do whatever it takes to help my team win.”
Nearly halfway through the season, the Magic have been one of the surprise teams in the Eastern Conference. Oladipo’s unselfishness has been a big reason why. In his past three games, he’s scored 58 points and shot 11-for-16 from 3-point territory.
"[Victor] bailed us out with a lot of those 3-pointers. We know he can make big shots. He shot the ball really well. All of his 3s are kind of off drive-and-kicks and wide-open shots. So it was good to see," Tobias Harris said.
Meanwhile, Nikola Vucevic (20 points, 10 rebounds) continues to be an offensive force down low, and Aaron Gordon has really stepped his game (14 points, 5 rebounds) as well. Harris (9 points, 12 rebounds, 8 assists) nearly had a triple-double himself.
“I’m happy for him because he puts in a lot of work,” Skiles said of Oladipo. “We know that his shooting percentages coming into the New Year are not the type of shooter that he really is. He’s a better shooter than that, and he’s been able to get some good looks now and knock them down. He had his normal, very energetic defensive game going again, so he is a very valuable player for us.”