The Amway Center rose to applaud their team on a MAGIC night as Orlando beat Minnesota by 110-118, overcoming an 18 point first half deficit. The win saw the Magic end a six game winning streak for the Timberwolves.
Minnesota arrived playing explosive basketball, blowing opponents off the court. At the half way point of the second quarter Orlando switched on their defensive intensity. Up to that point the Timberwolves had scored at will. The signs were ominous as in building an 18 point lead the NBA’s highest scoring team threatened to break away. However, as seen all season this young Magic squad does not give in.
Markelle Fultz, Mo Bamba and Wendell Carter Jr were a huge part of the fight as the team took a third quarter lead. Fultz was inspirational in a 15-4 run to close the third quarter that the Magic put together. In the fourth every Magic player taking the court was locked in defensively, holding the Timberwolves to just 7-of-26 shooting overall and 0-of-15 from three-point land!
At the close the leagues best defence since All-Star had prevailed over the season’s most prolific scorers. The Magic had 31 assists, brought down 49 rebounds including 10 on the offensive end and shot 25 free throws, missing only 3.
Magic Top Performers
Mo Bamba had a complete game. His double-double of 27 points and 12 rebounds led the team. Mo added a further two blocks to his season tally of 98 (6th in the NBA).
Wendell Carter Jr also had a double-double stat line of 20 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists. It was another solid return for his efforts.
Cole Anthony had 15 points, 6 assists, 6 rebounds and a steal.
Markelle Fultz brought a drive and poise to the court. Still on a minutes limitation he scored 14 points and made 7 assists.
Moritz Wagner had a huge impact with 18 points in 13 minutes played.
Magic Starting Lineup – Cole Anthony (PG), Jalen Suggs (SG), Franz Wagner (SF), Wendell Carter Jr (PF), Mo Bamba (C)
Magic Bench Unit – Markelle Fultz, RJ Hampton, Chuma Okeke, Moe Wagner, Terrence Ross, Gary Harris (DNP), Robin Lopez (DNP), Admiral Schofield (DNP), Ignas Brazdeikis (DNP)
Injury Report – Jonathan Isaac (rehabilitation of surgically repaired left knee) and Bol Bol (out for the season after surgery to a foot injury) remain absent.
Up Next After A Magic Night As Orlando Beat Minnesota
Having taken the win over Minnesota, the Magic now hold a record of 18 wins and 50 losses. This still sees the Magic last in the Eastern Conference but means that Houston hold the worst record in the NBA by virtue of having played a game less. Over the last 10 games played the Magic have won 5, including the last 2. The home record stands at 8 wins of 31 games played. On the road the record is 10 wins in 37 games played. Points per game sees the Magic scoring 104, whilst conceding 111.6.
The Magic now continue the six game homestand on Sunday night against the Philadelphia 76ers. The Magic tip at 10pm (U.K. time). The Sixers are looking to sweep the season after winning the first three meetings. The last game saw Mo Bamba have a career night with 32 points, unfortunately Joel Embiid was unstoppable with a career matching high score of 50 points.
With wins last night for Atlanta and Charlotte unfortunately Orlando became the first team eliminated from playoff contention.
The Philadelphia 76ers
Philly have a different look to when we last played in January. James Harden, DeAndre Jordan and Paul Millsap have come in. Seth Curry, Ben Simmons and Andre Drummond moved out to Brooklyn.
Philadelphia’s record is 40 wins and 25 losses, seeing them 3rd in the Eastern Conference. Of the last 10 games played they have won 7 times. At home the 76ers have 19 wins in 33 games played and on the road it is 21 wins in 32 played. In points per game Philly score 108.4 whilst conceding 106.4.
The Sixers last game was the destruction suffered at the hands of Brooklyn by 129-100.
After a magic night as Orlando beat Minnesota Josh Cohen’s game review is available on the Orlando Magic website.