He was irked about missing 2-of-4 free throws in the fourth quarter. Ilyasova made his only free throw before that, added four assists and three rebounds and did not turn the ball over.
“Not really,” Ilyasova said when asked if he had a special feeling going into the game. “It was one of those nights, I guess. Obviously, everybody came out with a lot of energy. You have to give them credit; the Magic obviously (had) a back-to-back.
“We kind of knew we had to go at them at the beginning of the game . . . those free throws, I was kind of disappointed.”
A school-record 19 Arkansas State players earned some sort of Sun Belt all-conference recognition, including senior Blaise Taylor as both a first-team defensive back and third-team return specialist.
“Owners are concerned about durability and performance levels and, ‘What am I paying for?'” Boras said. “A No. 1 starter wins the big-boy games. You can’t get a No. 1 who wins more big-boy games than Arrieta. You can’t find him. He’s done it.”
Mirotic made his first start of the season with leading scorer Lauri Markkanen sidelined because of back spasms and shot 9 of 14 with eight rebounds. Through three games, the 6-foot-10 forward is averaging 16.3 points.
Ehlers and Kucherov, with his 20th, traded goals 1:52 apart midway through the third.
Vasileskiy made two strong saves on Ehlers just before Kucherov’s goal tied the score 3-3.
Sergachev gave Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead with 3:21 left in the second when the 19-year old rookie defenseman skated into the slot from the left wing boards, did a spin move and scored on a wrist shot.