Another night and another lead was given up as the Magic lose after a third quarter collapse to the Lakers in the Amway Center by 116-105. The Lakers veteran presence of LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook did the damage. For Orlando Jalen Suggs had a career night in assists and points.
A flagrant 1 foul was awarded on Talon Horton-Tucker for a foul on Jalen Suggs in the air, seeing Suggs crash to the court. It could easily have been an ejection and in the mind of most Magic fans should have been.
Whilst the result was disappointing it was another example of a young team learning how to play and close games out. The game had been competitive in the first half, with 13 ties and 12 lead changes. With seconds to go of the second quarter Orlando held a 10 point lead, but a two point Lakers fast break to end the quarter was a signal of what was to come. The Magic simply failed to play in any cohesive way during long periods of the third quarter. A 31-16 quarter for the Lakers saw the damage done. In fact the Lakers led by 7 points or more through the final 18 minutes of the match.
Magic Top Performances
Jalen Suggs recorded career highs in both points (22) and assists (9). He did struggle shooting (6-of-16 overall, 1-of-7 from 3-point range) and committed 6 turnovers. What we got was a player showing his confidence. There was a no look through the legs pass and a highlight reel full court football pass for Wendell Carter Jr to slam home. For Magic fans perhaps the highlights moment was his block on Dwight Howard.
Wendell Carter Jr was back after missing the last seven games, playing 19 minutes. His return was a much needed boost as he scored 19 points in 19 on 6-of-10 shooting.
Franz Wagner had 15 points, Gary Harris 13 and Mo Bamba weighed in with 11 points.
Chuma Okeke again produced solid numbers. From the bench as he continued to show improved form as he returns to match fitness.
Moving On As The Magic Lose After A Third Quarter Collapse
The home stand continues on Sunday night with a visit from the Chicago Bulls.
Orlando’s record is now 8 wins and 39 losses, as the Magic remain last in the Eastern Conference. They have lost the last four games played and in the last 10 games played the Magic have only won once. The home record stands at 2 wins of 19 games played, whilst on the road it is 6 wins in 28 played.
The Chicago Bulls are hampered by absence, Zach LaVine, Lonzo Ball, Derrick Jones Jr, Alex Caruso, Patrick Williams and Javonte Green are all likely out. There is still the exceptional DeMar DeRozan and returning Magic legend Nikola Vucevic to contend with.
The Bulls lost by 4 points last night in Milwaukee 90-94 as DeRozan led the team with 35. The game will be remembered for the horrendous foul by Grayson Allen that fractured Alex Caruso’s wrist. It was akin to the one seen on Suggs by Horton-Tucker.
Chicago are sat top of the Eastern Conference. Their record of 28 wins and 16 losses is now being threatened by injury. On the road they have a winning record of 12 wins in 22 games played.