Franz Wagner scored a career high as the Magic fall to the defending NBA champions, the Milwaukee Bucks by 127-110. Orlando’s fighting spirit was evident but not enough to save them a third defeat in the season to the Bucks.
Once again Orlando fell behind big to Milwaukee. The Bucks outscored the Magic 40-21 in the second quarter, to lead by as many as 29 points late in the first half. The Magic came out swinging in the third-quarter, putting a 19-0 together. Orlando also got to deficit to 8 points at 106-98 with 7:15 to play in the final quarter. Unfortunately at that point Orlando went scoreless for almost three minutes, a period in which Milwaukee virtually sealed the victory.
An unfortunate blow for Orlando was the loss of Hassani Gravett during the game. It emerged he had tested positive for Covid and had to be withdrawn immediately. Having played 19 minutes Hassani was plus 16, hashing 5 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal.
Milwaukee had passed the ball brilliantly all game, getting multiple open opportunities on the three-ball. Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 28 points, Khris Middleton 21 points, Bobby Portis had 19 and Jrue Holiday a double-double included 18 points and 10 assists.
Magic Top Performers
Franz Wagner recorded a career high of 38 points. His footwork and strength in scoring was superb. The Bucks defence was locked onto hard but could not contain his efforts. It is the highest scoring performance by a Magic player this season.
Gary Harris continues his strong scoring run by adding 13 points, now his 13th double-digit score in the last 14 games.
RJ Hampton came from the bench and played a solid game in the second half at the point guard position. 9 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and a block were his stats on the night.
Wendell Carter Jr added yet another double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds. He supplemented this with 3 steals and an assist.
Magic Starting Lineup – Hassani Gravett (PG), Gary Harris (SG), Franz Wagner (SF), Wendell Carter Jr (PF), Robin Lopez (C)
Bench Unit – RJ Hampton, Moe Wagner, Ignas Brazdeikis, Tim Frazier, Freddie Gillespie, Admiral Schofield
Moving On After Franz Wagner Scored A Career High As The Magic Fall To Milwaukee
Josh Cohen’s review of this loss to Milwaukee is available here on the Orlando Magic website.
Orlando’s record is now 7 wins and 28 losses. The Magic remain 14th in the Eastern Conference. Of the last 10 games played the Magic have won 2 and looking back further it is 17 losses in 20 games. The home record stands at 2 wins of 14 games played, whilst on the road it is 5 wins in 21 played. In points per game the Magic score 101.2, whilst conceding 110.8. Orlando remain at 28th for offensive rankings and at 25th defensively.
The Magic remain at home to play a second game against the NBA’s defending-champions, the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday 30th December. This will be the fourth and final meeting of the season.
Milwaukee have a record of 23 wins and 13 losses. The Bucks stay 3rd in the Eastern Conference. Of the last 10 games played the Bucks have won 7, including their last 4 played. Their road record stands at 11 wins in 19 played. In points per game the Bucks score 110.9, whilst conceding 107.1. The Bucks are 8th in the NBA for the best offensive and defensive statistics.