A close and hard fought matchup saw Phoenix rise over Orlando just, taking a win by 99-102 in the Amway Center. The loss was certainly in part down to an inexplicable over use of the long ball by Orlando against the team ranked number 1 in defending the three-pointer. Orlando shot the three at only 17.9%, going 7 of 39!
Phoenix played without Devin Booker, Chris Paul, Frank Kaminsky, Cameron Johnson and Dario Saric but their depth in every position came through. Deandre Ayton secured a strong double-double of 21 points and 19 rebounds. Cameron Payne stepped up with an 18 point and 12 assist double-double.
Orlando had trailed big several times, but rallied repeatedly even taking a lead. That effort had allowed the Magic to be within one possession down the final minute. Franz Wagner’s potential game-tying 3-point effort in the final seconds was blocked by Mikal Bridges.
Magic Top Performers
Wendell Carter Jr came back to lead the team with yet another double-double. With 20 points and 12 rebounds it was his 29th double-double of the season.
Moe Wagner led the bench producing a 12 point, 7 rebound and 1 block performance.
Cole Anthony contribution was 11 points and 5 assists, whilst also receiving a cut to the bridge of his nose from contact by Mo Bamba. Cole was absent for a lengthy period before returning to the court to see the game out.
Markelle Fultz continued his comeback as he looked good for 11 points,3 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal.
Mo Bamba again produced a strong game with 9 points and 15 rebounds.
Injury And Absence Report – Jalen Suggs (ankle), Jonathan Isaac (rehabilitation of surgically repaired left knee), Bol Bol (recovery after foot surgery) were all out injured. Both two-way players Admiral Schofield and Ignas Brazdeikis were with the Lakeland Magic.
Up Next After Phoenix Rise Over Orlando
After this loss to the Phoenix Orlando holds a record of 16 wins and 50 losses. This sees the Magic last in the Eastern Conference and holding the worst record in the NBA. Over the last 10 games played the Magic have won 3, losing the last 2 played. The home record stands at 7 wins of 30 games played. On the road the record is 9 wins in 36 games played. Points per game sees the Magic scoring 103.8, whilst conceding 111.8.
The game was for both teams the first night of a back-to-back. Orlando tonight travel to New Orleans to take on a resurgent Pelicans, who are being led by CJ McCollum. New Orleans have won 5 of their last 10 games, losing the last 2 played. It is also the second night of a back-to-back for the Pelicans, taking a 111-132 defeat in Memphis to the Grizzlies. McCollum scored 32 points and dropped 11 assists for a double-double. In 5 of his 11 games since being traded to the Pels he has scored 30 points or more. All the games have seen him register at least 15 points.
A game review by Josh Cohen as Phoenix rise over Orlando is available on the Orlando Magic website.