Closing January which has been for the Magic their best month of the season, Orlando finish at home by beating Dallas 108-110. It was an outstandingly gritty performance from Orlando, closing out a tight game for their third win in four games.
What Orlando have done is January is show progress and potential whilst still having key absences. The Magic earlier in the season would most likely have lost such a close game, but they have learnt from the mistakes made. The defence is top 10 rated for the month of January. Defensive rebounds are top five. The starting unit is back to playing strong basketball as at the season start, but now the bench is contributing on both ends also.
Magic Top Performances
This was a team performance, outscoring a top 5 defensive team. Scoring was shared, with 7 Magic players reaching double digit scoring.
Chuma Okeke led the team in scoring, as he came from the bench. 19 points came from 7-of-10 shooting. Again defensively he shone and made 3 steals, including one from Luka Doncic that got the crowd fired up as he slammed the basket home.
Franz Wagner went for 18 points. It is the 43 game he has scored double figures in 51 played, having hit 20-points or more on 12 occasions. Franz got to defend Doncic for long periods, doing it well despite Luka having a 34 point triple-double.
Wendell Carter Jr scored a 14 points 14 rebounds double-double.
Cole Anthony had scoring problems again. He failed to make any of his 6 attempts with the three-ball but still recorded 16 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds
Moe Wagner came off the bench to score 14 points. Mo Bamba recorded 10 points, as did Gary Harris.
Jalen Suggs struggled on offence but dished out 5 assists, along with strong defensive play that saw him get 2 steals and a block.
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)
Up Next After Orlando Finish At Home By Beating Dallas
Josh Cohen’s game reviews are available on the Orlando Magic website.
Orlando’s record is now 11 wins and 40 losses, seeing the Magic still 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 4, including both the last two played. The home record stands at 5 wins of 23 games played, whilst on the road it is 6 wins in 28 played. In points per game the Magic improved in both categories, scoring 102.5 whilst conceding 110.4. The over all rating for the Magic remains 28th on offence and 21st defensively.
Orlando now head to the road, seeing the Magic travel to take on the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday 1st February.
The Chicago Bulls.
Chicago last played on Sunday night beating the Portland Trail Blazers by 116-130, a high scoring home win. Head Coach Billy Donovan saw Nikola Vucevic lead the team with a 24 points and 14 rebounds double-double. Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan scored 20 and 23 points.
Starting Unit – Ayo Dosunmu (PG), Zach LaVine (SG), Javonte Green (SF), DeMar DeRozan (PF) Nikola Vucevic (C).
Bench Unit: Coby White, Troy Brown Jr, Matt Thomas, Tony Bradley, Malcolm Hill, Alfonzo McKinnie
Chicago have a record of 31 wins and 18 losses, which sees the Bulls at the top of the Eastern Conference. Of the last 10 games played Chicago have won 4. The home record stands at 18 wins of 24 games played. In points per game the Bulls score 111 whilst conceding 109.2 rating 4th on offence and 20th defensively.