Orlando snapped it’s seven game losing streak in a gutsy Magic performance in Brooklyn. The Magic beat the Nets by 100-93. Both teams were missing 12 players through injury and COVID protocols and both teams that took to the court gave their all.
Playing their fourth game in five days the four Lakeland players just signed to 10 day contracts were pivotal in this win. They formed the bench unit, played with heart and determination throughout.
Orlando flirted with defeat after giving up a 17 point lead. David Duke Jr, who looks to be a solid rookie for the Nets led their charge. He finished with 18 points, 14 rebounds, 2 steals, plus an assist and a block. In a clutch play Chuma Okeke hit a 3-pointer with 1:11 left. Okeke then blocked Duke Jr.’s layup on Brooklyn’s next possession. From that Franz Wagner made a floater, with heavy attention from Nets players trying to strip the ball from him.
Magic Top Performers
As we wrote in the Miami review: in adversity there comes opportunities. That was true again last night in Brooklyn.
Chuma Okeke was influential for the team getting 2 blocks and 2 steals as he worked solidly on defence. He finished with 15 points, that included 3 made shots from beyond the arc on 6 attempts.
Franz Wagner may have struggled on his offensive play but as Orlando’s point guard he recording notched his first double-double of his career with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Robin Lopez as the biggest and oldest guy on court overwhelmed the Nets inside the paint. He recorded season highs of 20 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double.
Gary Harris added 17 points as he combined well with fellow veteran Lopez.
Moving On After A Gutsy Magic Performance In Brooklyn
Orlando’s record is now 6 wins and 25 losses. The Magic remained 14th in the Eastern Conference, being 7 games behind the Indiana Pacers who are 13th. Of the last 10 games played the Magic have won 2 and the bigger picture is 14 losses in 16 games. The home record stands at 2 wins of 12 games played, whilst on the road it is 4 wins in 19 played. In points per game the Magic score 101.4 whilst conceding 111.3. In offensive rankings Orlando remain at 28th, but defensively have now improved to 27th.
Orlando now travel north to Canada to take on the Toronto Raptors on Monday night (U.K. tip is 12:30am Tuesday). The teams last met on Game Day 6, Orlando losing in a heartbreaker by 109-110.
The Toronto Raptors
The Toronto Raptors have a record of 14 wins and 15 losses. The Raptors are 10th in the Eastern Conference, currently occupying the last play-in tournament berth. Of the last 10 games played Toronto have won 5, including their last game. The Raptors home record stands at 7 wins of 16 games played. In points per game the Raptors score 106.4 whilst conceding 105.2 (5th fewest points conceded per game in the NBA. In offensive rankings Toronto are 8th and 16th for defensive statistics.
Toronto also played last night, beating the Golden State Warriors in the Raptor’s Scotiabank Arena by 100-119. The Raptors had a 30 point lead as they cruised past a Warriors team without Steph Curry, Draymond Green or Andrew Wiggins. Fred VanVleet led the Raptors with a double-double of 27 points, 12 assists 7 rebounds, 3 steals and a block. Rookie Scottie Barnes supported 21 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists. In total six Raptors players made double figure scoring.
Unlike many teams Toronto do not have huge issues around injury or absence. Pascal Siakam, Khem Birch, Goran Dragic, Dalano Banton and David Johnson were their only absentees last night.