Last night was an example of what unity and spirit can achieve, as an on the road Orlando played as a team to beat Portland by 113-95. The win came on the back of effective ball movement, resulting in a season high 34 assists for the Magic.
Orlando are on a 4 game road trip West and beating an undermanned Portland Trail Blazers was a strong start. Injury and trades saw Portland missing key personnel.
Of some concern for Magic fans was the loss of Jalen Suggs after the opening seven minutes. He did not return through a sore achilles.
Top Magic Performers
Cole Anthony led the team with 23 points, 7 rebounds and 9 assists. Franz Wagner finished with 13 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists. All 5 of Gary Harris’ made shots came from 3-point range. Wendell Carter Jr played an impressive defensive game on Jusuf Nurkic, with WCJ also contributing 18 points. Chuma Okeke also had 18 points, whilst Mo Bamba had 13 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks.
The Magic Season
Orlando now has a record of 13 wins and 43 losses. The Magic are no longer bottom of the Eastern Conference, moving ahead of Detroit who now hold the worst record in the NBA. The Pistons have played a game less than the Magic. In the last 10 games played the Magic have won 5. The home record stands at 5 wins of 25 games played, whilst on the road it is 8 wins in 31 played. In points per game the Magic are scoring 103.1 whilst conceding 111.1. The efficiency rating for the Magic remains 28th on offence and 22nd defensively.
The Magic now have 26 games remaining this season, of which 16 are at home.
Moving Forwards After Orlando Played As A Team To Beat Portland
Up next is a trip to Salt Lake City, to take on the Utah Jazz on Friday night. The tip time for the UK is 2am Saturday February 12th.
The Jazz are on a 6 game home stand and beat the New York Knicks in their last game, seeing an 104-113 home win. At 31-18 fourth quarter comeback secured the win, as the Jazz shot 42% from the field and 85% from the free throw line. Donovan Mitchell led all scorers with a 32 point game. Hassan Whiteside, Jordan Clarkson, Bojan Bogdanovic and Mike Conley all made double digit scoring contributions.
Utah’s record is 33 wins and 21 losses, seeing them 4th in the Western Conference. At home Utah have a strong home record of 18 wins in 28 games played. This team is rating 1st on offence and 10th defensively in the NBA. They play the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night.
It will be the second and final meeting of the season. Orlando broke a Jazz 5 game winning streak with a thrilling win by 100-107 on November 7th in the Amway Center. Recent history is with Utah who have won 9 of the last 11. Orlando have not won a season series since the 2015-16 season. The Magic last won in Salt Lake City in December 2015.
Josh Cohen’s game reviews are available on the Orlando Magic website.