Orlando fans in the Amway Center last night celebrated after the Magic take the win over the Bulls by 95-114. Moe Wagner led the team on a strong night of play by all in a Magic uniform, that included 51 points from the bench.
Orlando again made the third quarter a struggle. Having been ahead by 20 points they saw the Bulls push to close the gap to 7 points. Unlike against both the Sixers and Lakers the bleeding was stopped as Orlando responded to push the lead back out to 15 points.
Both teams were without key players, and we all know Orlando’s issues. The Bulls were without Zach LaVine, Lonzo Ball and Derrick Jones Jr all to knee injury, whilst Alex Caruso and Patrick Williams were out to wrist injuries, then finally Javonte Green to a groin issue. It highlighted Chicago’s reliance on their regular starting unit.
Magic Top Performances
As the Magic take the win over the Bulls it was a team performance. Of the 9 players who appeared 7 had double-digit scoring.
Moe Wagner scored 23 points, his second 20-plus-point performance of the season. There was a little bit of everything that Moe does well, scoring, screens, 4 assists and getting under the opponent’s skin like few others can. It is the 4th time in the last 6 games that he has produced double digit scoring.
Wendell Carter Jr led the starters with 19 points on a box score that also included 3 blocks.
Franz Wagner contributed 18 points, along with 4 rebounds, 5 assists, a block and a steal. Again he showed an ability to put the ball on the floor and drive to the basket. His defence was strong as always. The only part of Franz’s game that failed him on the night was shooting from distance. He has scored double figures in 40 of his 48 NBA games, including hitting 20-points or more on 10 occasions.
Chuma Okeke again showed his value coming from the bench to impact on both ends of the floor. He finished with 11 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, a steal and 2 blocks.
Jalen Suggs had another impressive game showing his strength and pace. His game was typified by posterising DeMar DeRozan with a vicious dunk on the 6 minute mark of the final quarter. His box score by the close read 14 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals.
Cole Anthony again had some struggles shooting but recorded 11 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists, a block and a steal.
Moving Forwards As The Magic Take The Win Over The Bulls
Josh Cohen’s game reviews are available on the Orlando Magic website.
Orlando’s record is now 9 wins and 39 losses, which sees the Magic remain last in the Eastern Conference. Of the last 10 games played the Magic have won 2. The home record stands at 3 wins of 20 games played, whilst on the road it is 6 wins in 28 played. In points per game the Magic score an improved 102.1 whilst conceding 110.6, rating 28th on offence and 22nd defensively.
Orlando now play the third game of a five game home-stand as they face the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday 26th January (U.K. midnight Thursday).
The LA Clippers
The Clippers have been experiencing some problems with their form recently. They also have two major injury absences with star pairing Paul George and Kawhi Leonard both long term injuries.
The team record is 23 wins and 25 losses, seeing them 9th in the Western Conference. Of the last 10 games played they have won 4 times. On the road Coach Ty Lue has seen his team have some difficulty, with 8 wins in 21 played. In points per game the Clippers score 105.2 whilst conceding 106.5, rating 27th on offence and 10th defensively.
The Clippers lost last night in New York, falling to the Knicks by 102-110. Reggie Jackson was the leading scorer with 26 points. Ivica Zubac was the only other starter to score double figures with a double-double of 17 points and 14 rebounds. The bench was led by Luke Kennard with 14 points.
Starting Line-Up: Reggie Jackson (PG), Amur Coffey (SG), Marcus Morris Sr (PF), Nicolas Batum (SF), Ivica Zubac (C)
Bench Unit – Luke Kennard, Terance Mann, Serge Ibaka, Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Boston Jr, Isaiah Hartenstein, Justice Winslow (DNP), Jay Scrubb (DNP)