It was a 99-114 loss for the Magic in Salt Lake City last night as Utah’s class showed to beat Orlando. The Magic fought but came up short in the final quarter.
Struggling offensively in the first quarter the Magic closed it with just 12 points scored. However this team has spirit. The Magic trailed by 18 points in the second quarter but through solid D and driving attacks to the rim with 7:23 remaining of the third they levelled the game up. Unfortunately that was as good as it got. Utah’s class showed to beat Orlando from that point on as they responded to take a 3 point lead into the final quarter.
It was on the basics that Orlando fell short. The team were out rebounded by 40 to 50 and saw Utah make 15 steals. The Magic had a total of 18 turnovers, from which Utah scored 24 points. Second chance points were 21-7 in the Jazz’s favour. The Magic committed some unnecessary fouls, giving Utah 24 free throws, from which they made 21 points.
Utah scored their season average in points, getting balanced contributions across the team. Donovan Mitchell led all scorers with 24 points, followed by Jordan Clarkson with 18 from the bench.
Magic Top Performers
Wendell Carter Jr led the team with 22 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists and a block. Cole Anthony helped out with 18 points, 6 rebounds 5 assists and a steal. Mo Bamba had a strong game 16 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks. Jalen Suggs played limited minutes but was effective defensively and finding a pass. He contributed 9 points, 7 assists and 3 steals. From the bench Terrence Ross had 11 points, Gary Harris 8 points scored and Chuma Okeke tallied 6 points to go with 4 steals.
The Magic Season
Orlando now has a record of 13 wins and 44 losses. The Magic remain 14th in the Eastern Conference. Detroit hold the worst record in the NBA, having 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 32 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 21st defensively.
The Magic now have 25 games remaining this season, of which 16 are at home.
Moving On After Utah’s Class Showed To Beat Orlando
Up next is the second night of a back-to-back as Orlando take on the Phoenix Suns tonight (Saturday). The tip time for the UK is 2am Sunday February 13th.
The Suns; as defeated NBA Finalists are looking to go one better come the post season. At this time they comfortably hold the best record in the NBA and lead the West. They have a record of 45 wins and 10 losses. At home Phoenix have a record of 23 wins in 28 games played. They have won 9 games of the last 10 played, including 4th straight. They score 113.3 points per game, conceding only 105.4. This team is rating 3rd on offence and 4th defensively in the NBA.
In their last game, a repeat of the NBA Finals of 2021 the Suns took a home court win over the Milwaukee Bucks by 107-131! The Suns held a double digit lead across the entire final 18 minutes of play on the back of strong defence and lethal shooting. Deandre Ayton dominated the scoring with 27 points, whilst Chris Paul threw in 17 points and 19 assists for an impressive double-double. Devon Booker, Mikal Bridges, Jae Crowder, Cameron Johnson and JaVale McGee all contributed with double-digit scoring.
Phoenix Suns Starting Unit: Chris Paul (PG), Devon Booker (SG), Mikal Bridges (SF), Jae Crowder (PF), DeAndre Ayton (C)
Phoenix Suns Bench: Cameron Johnson, JaVale McGee, Bismarck Biyombo, Ish Wainwright, Elfrid Payton
Both Torrey Craig and Aaron Holiday did not play having been acquired prior to the trade deadline.
Frank Kaminsky, Cameron Payne, Dario Saric and Landry Shamet are all out injured.
It will be the first meeting of the season for the Magic and Suns.
Josh Cohen’s game reviews are available on the Orlando Magic website.