A fourth quarter collapse saw the Magic throw it away against the Pacers. Going down 122-114 Orlando managed to throw away an 18 point lead. Orlando snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, giving up an 18 point lead in the final quarter and being forced into overtime.
The Pacers moved ahead 101-99 on a Tyrese Haliburton 3-pointer with 4:58 remaining in the fourth quarter, their first lead since 2-0. Malcolm Brogdan was the X-Factor for Indiana, particularly through the final quarter. He finished the game with a double-double of 31 points and 11 rebounds, supplemented further by 8 assists.
The defeat came by a fine margin as statistically on the night both teams were closely matched. Perhaps tellingly the difference came at the free throw line with Indiana shooting 15 more times than the Magic. Certainly a critical decision was when the Pacers won their challenge on a three pointer by Suggs. On review the call was overturned to being an offensive foul as Jalen had kicked his leg out in an unnatural manner. Being honest I would not disagree with that assessment, however clear contact on Suggs shooting hand came before the kick out. When it comes the NBA’S report on the final two minutes will no doubt exonerate the officials on what was a pivotal and poor call.
Magic Top Performers
Franz Wagner led the team with an immaculate offensive display, get 28 points for his 53rd double figure scoring game in 63 played. It tied his second highest scoring performance.
Mo Bamba again played with energy and determination. He recorded a double-double of 19 points and 12 rebounds.
Wendell Carter Jr also secured a double-double, his 28th of the season (13 points and 18 rebounds).
Markelle Fultz had a solid 11 points from the bench. He played just 15 minutes but again looked strong and ready for the competition.
Moving On After The Magic Throw It Away Against The Pacers
The Magic head out on the road for two games now. Starting in Canada they play the Toronto Raptors on Friday. This was originally scheduled for December 21st but had to be postponed because too many players from both sides were in health and safety protocols. It will be the second of three meetings this season between the teams. The first was won by Toronto in a heartbreaker by 109-110. The Raptors got strong performances from Scottie Barnes (21 points), Fred VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr (with 19 points each).
Orlando has a record of 15 wins and 48 losses, which still sees us last in the Eastern Conference and with the worst record in the NBA. Over the last 10 games played the Magic have won 4.. The home record stands at 7 wins of 29 games played. On the road it is 8 wins in 34 played for the Magic. Points per game sees the Magic are scoring 104 whilst conceding 112.