An excessive amount of fourth quarter fouls sealed a loss for Orlando to the LA Clippers by 111-102. A close game saw many lead changes, with the Magic trailing at the half having squandered a 14 point lead.
Orlando led by 2 points entering the final quarter, at which the foul troubles began as they put the Clippers in the bonus inside two minutes of play. The Clippers built a 15 point lead before the Magic responded, cutting the deficit to 5 points with 16 seconds remaining. Unfortunately, the response came too late to be anything other than a valiant effort from Orlando.
The Magic had in the first half attacked the paint, scoring almost at will when doing so. They had also seen success at the free throw line. At times they went away from that, settling for shooting contested three’s. The Clippers are not renowned for rebounding but owned the Magic in this area to the point that Orlando failed to register a single second chance point! The Clippers as expected were lethal with the long ball, making 15 of their 28 attempts.
Magic Top Performances
Whilst fourth quarter fouls sealed a loss for Orlando, it is true to say there were many positives for Orlando in the performance.
Franz Wagner led the team with 21 points, along with 3 rebounds, 9 assists and 2 steals. He has scored double figures in 41 of his 49 NBA games, including now hitting 20-points or more on 11 occasions.
Cole Anthony may be drawing criticism from some Magic fans online but again he had influence on the team. Yes he had some struggles shooting but recorded 19 points as he found a way to score. He registered a career high 11 assists in attaining a double-double, whilst also adding 6 rebounds, a block and 2 steals.
Jalen Suggs by the close had 14 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists.
Gary Harris finished with 14 points, Wendell Carter Jr scored 11 points and Mo Bamba 10 points.
Magic Starting Lineup – Cole Anthony (PG), Jalen Suggs (SG), Franz Wagner (SF), Wendell Carter Jr (PF), Mo Bamba (C)
Magic Bench Unit – Gary Harris, Terrence Ross, Chuma Okeke, Moe Wagner, Admiral Schofield (DNP), Ignas Brazdeikis (DNP), Robin Lopez (DNP)
Moving On After Fourth Quarter Fouls Sealed A Loss For Orlando
Josh Cohen’s game reviews are available on the Orlando Magic website.
Orlando’s record is now 9 wins and 40 losses, leaving the the Magic adrift at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. They also hold the worst record in the NBA. Of the last 10 games played the Magic have won 2. The home record stands at 3 wins of 21 games played, whilst on the road it is 6 wins in 28 played. In points per game the Magic score 102.1, whilst conceding 110.6. The over all rating for the Magic remains 28th on offence but improved to 21st defensively.
Orlando next play game four of this five game home-stand. It is a meeting of the two bottom teams in the East (also the two worst NBA records), seeing the Magic take on the Detroit Pistons on Friday 28th January.
The Detroit Pistons
This will be the third meeting of the season, the Pistons having won both. The first meeting came on October 30th and was won 103-110 by Detroit. Jerami Grant scored 22 points and Kelly Olynyk had 18 to propel Detroit victory. In the rematch on January 8th Hamidou Diallo got 17 points, with Saddiq Bey and Trey Lyles each hitting 16. That saw the Pistons win 92-97.
Detroit have a record of 11 wins and 36 losses, including losing their last 3 games played. The Pistons are 14th in the Eastern Conference. Of the last 10 games played they have won 4. Their road record stands at 4 wins in 25 played. In points per game the Pistons score 102, whilst conceding 111.6. Detroit are 29th in the NBA for offensive rating and 24th defensively. They have improved marginally on the offensive end since the last meeting but worsened defensively.
In their last game, which was on Wednesday 26th January Detroit lost at home 110-105 to the Denver Nuggets. Head Coach Dwayne Casey saw Cade Cunningham lead Detroit in most categories with 34 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, 4 blocks and 2 steals. Support came from Saddiq Bey with 21 points, whilst Hamidou Diallo had 14. From the bench Trey Lyles got 10 points and there was an 11 point haul for Frank Jackson. The Pistons totalled 14 steals in the game.
Detroit Starting Unit – Cade Cunningham (PG), Cory Joseph (SG), Hamidou Diallo (PF), Saddiq Bey (SF), Isaiah Stewart (C)
Bench Unit – Killian Hayes, Trey Lyles, Rodney McGruder, Frank Jackson, Josh Jackson, Saben Lee (DNP), Luka Garza (DNP), Chris Smith (DNP), Cassius Stanley (DNP)
The Pistons were without Jerami Grant who has now cleared NBA covid protocols and is in the reconditioning phase so could be available. Kelly Olynyk is in NBA protocols for Covid so likely to be absent. Isaiah Livers remains out.