A thrilling Orlando win over the Jazz last night saw the Magic offensive fire itself to a first home court win of the season, by 100-107. Cole Anthony hit a season high 33 points and heard the Amway Center show it’s appreciation in chants of “MVP”. The Magic defence also held a free scoring Utah team to 13 points below their season average of points per game.
The Story Of The Night And A Thrilling Orlando Win Over The Jazz
Orlando came out and played one of their best quarters of basketball in the opening period. Locked in on both ends of the floor the Magic held a 13 point lead at the close. The Jazz came out in the second quarter and managed to take a 2 point half time lead, aided by a couple of questionable calls. The third belonged to Utah as they built a 13 point lead.
However, the final period was all about the Magic. 10 points adrift going in, Orlando put in a 17-6 scoring run in just over the first 6 minutes. A usually potent Jazz offence was struggling to breach the tenacious Magic defence, forcing turnovers and multiple empty possessions. Cole Anthony scored almost at will. Down the stretch Orlando scored on each of their final six possessions.
The team played basketball as a team. They fought for each other and encouraged each other. Passing yielded 24 assists on the night. One example of this togetherness was as Cole Anthony got hit with a technical for a clear missed call, that was soon followed by a soft foul call on him. Cole was angry, in danger of getting tossed out of the game. Gary Harris was quickly over to get Cole away from the situation. Coach Mosely showed his understanding of his players taking Cole to one side to talk with him. Another example can be read here of Mo Bamba sacrificing his role as a finisher by telling the Coach, “Coach, this group is going. They are doing a great job. I’m good.”
By holding Utah to just 15 points in the first and fourth quarters this was the fewest points allowed in any quarter this season by the Magic. It was achieved against one of the NBA’s top offences.
The Magic Top Performers
Cole Anthony took the game over! He equalled his season high points with 33, including making 50% from deep on 5-of-10 shooting.
Wendell Carter Jr had his best game in a Magic uniform. Spending long periods matched up against Rudy Gobert WCJ was Mr Consistent again. Another double-double was secured with 22 points, 15 rebounds and 6 assists. He made four 3-pointers, having now made 17 this season. That total represents more than he made last season with the Bulls and Magic combined.
R.J. Hampton was at his best in the final quarter. RJ sank three shots in the final three minutes, that included a 3-point bomb with 21.5 seconds left after a mad scramble for a loose ball. Gary Harris had wrestled the ball from Bojan Bogdanovic, making the pass to Hampton for the triple. It was fair to say both Hampton and Harris had been the subject of fan concern recently but they showed their abilities here.
Chuma Okeke also took a huge step forward after his recent return to the court. His efforts may not show up in the box score but his presence contributed in keeping Utah’s threat in check.
Next Up After A Thrilling Orlando Win Over The Jazz
Life does not get any easier for Orlando as the home court stand continues. Next up on Wednesday night is a visit from the much fancied Brooklyn Nets. Kevin Durant, James Harden and a star filled supporting cast are a formidable opponent. Brooklyn are on a 5 game winning streak, after beating the Toronto Raptors on Sunday evening. Brooklyn are 3rd in the East with a 7-3 winning record. Orlando remain 14th as they improved to a still losing record of 3-8