Jalen Suggs goes down as a battling Magic fall just short in Philadelphia by 96-101. Orlando gave the 76ers a fight right to the final buzzer, recovering from a 16 point deficit.
A woefully short handed Orlando showed grit and determination all night. That effort translated into the fight back from 16 down in the second quarter to take a 4 point lead with 3 minutes left of the third quarter. A Philadelphia response shifted momentum back to them. A tight game down the stretch saw Mo Bamba level the score with less than a minute remaining. From that point the 76ers lived at the line with Orlando forced to play the foul game in chasing possessions.
The Suggs Injury
Jalen Suggs suffered a fractured right thumb late in the fourth Joel Embiid swiped at the ball as Suggs drove to the basket. The team statement says he will be out for “an extended period of time”.
Top Magic Performers
Leading the way was Franz Wagner. He put in a brilliant 27 point, 6 rebound, 5 assist and 1 steal performance. He showed all his quality in shooting, playing hard on defence and initiating the offence as he took on the point guard role in adversity. Josh Cohen covered the potential of Franz in this article.
Mo Bamba had his own block highlight reel. He recorded a career high six blocks, to go along with a double-double of 11 points and 17 rebounds.
Moving On After Suggs Goes Down And A Battling Magic Fall Short
Orlando’s record is now 4 wins and 18 losses. The Magic remain last in the Eastern Conference, having lost 7 games consecutively and won only 1 of the last 10 played.
Next up is a return to the Amway Center for one game on Wednesday night, against the Denver Nuggets. This game will mark the return of Aaron Gordon to Orlando. The Magic then head out on a week and a half long gruelling road trip to the West Coast, playing 5 games including the Golden State Warriors, LA Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers.
As with Orlando; the Denver Nuggets are decimated by injuries to important players. Jamal Murray, PJ Dozier and Michael Porter Jr are all out for extended periods. Denver’s record is at .500 with 10 wins and 10 losses, placing them 9th in the Western Conference. They have won 4 of the last 10 played. Their road record is 3 wins in 9 games played.
Denver played last night with the NBA’s reigning MVP; Nikola Jokic returning to the lineup. The Nuggets took a 120-111 win in Miami over the Heat. Jokic recorded 24 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists and a steal. As all five starters recorded double figure scoring there was a strong 20 points provided by Aaron Gordon.
Starting Lineup – Monte Morris (PG), Will Barton (SG), Aaron Gordon (SF), Jeff Green (PF), Nikola Jokic (C)