The Hawks win 95-88 against the Magic despite a comeback late in the first half. Three minutes into the game, the Hawks established a near-20 point lead. By halftime, the Magic were up 45-42. In the closing minutes of the fourth quarter, the team was put in yet another crunch-time situation, as the Hawks’ lead was within one possession, giving the young players of the Magic more experience on that end. Magic veteran guard Willie Green was pleased with the team’s performance but was wary of their slow start: “I liked the fight that we had but we’ve just got to give ourselves a better chance starting off.” Magic center Nikola Vucevic led the team in points and rebounding, with 21 and 15, respectively. The team squares off against the Charlotte Hornets at home this Sunday.
Magic Beat Raptors for Second Win in a Row
ORLANDO, Fla. (Florida National News) – The Orlando Magic (7-20) continued their winning ways against the Toronto Raptors (13-13), defeating them 113-109 , just two days after a come-from-behind overtime victory against the Los Angeles Clippers. This two game winning streak puts an end to the Magic’s previous nine game losing streak.
The Magic started strong, taking a 37-25 lead into the second quarter, led by 10 first quarter points from Franz Wagner. But the Raptors caught up to the Magic midway through the second quarter led by Pascal Siakam and Gary Trent Jr. But at halftime, the Magic held a slight lead, 67-63.
The Magic extended their lead to 94-87 with remarkably impressive scoring from Franz Wagner who added 14 points in the third quarter alone. In the fourth quarter, the Raptors tied it up 108-108 with about two minutes remaining after two free throws by OG Anunoby. Paolo Banchero made one of two subsequent free throws, and Moe Wagner drew the charge from Gary Trent Jr. to negate his two point basket. Fred Van Vleet later added a free throw to tie the game at 109-109. A Franz Wagner tip layup put the Magic up 111-109. A missed shot by Fred Van Vleet sealed the Raptors loss. Banchero’s two free throws put the Magic ahead 113-109 at the end of the game.
Franz Wagner led the scoring for the Magic with 34 points, while Paolo Banchero scored 23. Mo Bamba finished with 13 rebounds. Cole Anthony and Markelle Fultz ended with 5 assists.
Several Magic players remain injured and were unable to play, including Wendell Carter Jr. (plantar fascia strain), Gary Harris (strained right hamstring), Chuma Okeke (left knee soreness), Jalen Suggs (right ankle soreness) and Jonathan Isaac (left knee recovery). Isaac has started his rehab program, playing in full contact 5 on 5 practice games with the Lakeland G League affiliate, and hopes to return to the court soon for Orlando.
The Magic face the Raptors at Amway once again on Sunday, 12/11 at 6:00 p.m. Be sure to follow www.FloridaSportsChannel.com and www.FloridaNationalNews.com for more.
Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic Beat Memphis Grizzlies 109-105 in Preseason Home Opener
ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – The Orlando Magic returned home to Amway Center to host the Memphis Grizzlies Tuesday night; the teams’ second match with each other this preseason. Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley made a point to rotate many his key players through in just the first quarter. Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins also mentioned he would take a similar route in a pregame interview, saying he planned to run 11 players in Tuesday night’s game.
As anticipated, Orlando Magic first round draft pick Paolo Banchero got busy putting up points, leading in the first quarter with nine. Banchero continued to lead the Magic in scoring in the first half with 13 points while Franz Wagner led in rebounds with eight and Wendell Carter Jr. carried the weight in assists with six. Banchero also led in free throws at 100 percent, nailing all five.
Though the Magic led in the points, the truth is the Grizzlies actually made great shot opportunities for themselves, but many of the shots just didn’t land. Not for lack of trying: Ja Morant was 2 for 11 on field goals and clocked seven points, Dillon Brooks went 2 for 6 and clocked six points, and Desmond Bane, who led the Grizzlies with 17 points in the first half, went 6 for 9 on field goals.
The Magic led in points in the paint with 20 compared to the Grizzlies’ 18 and in second chance points with five to the Grizzlies’ two. Memphis did lead in fast break points, though, with 13 to Orlando’s eight.
For the Magic, Terrence Ross was second in scoring with eight points in the first half. Orlando’s other draft pick rookie, Caleb Houstan, contributed five points in the first half. Bol Bol humbly contributed two. Cole Anthony, Wendell Carter Jr. and Franz Wagner each contributed seven points.
By halftime, the Magic had a seven-point lead, 54-47.
Either the Grizzlies came alive in the second half or the Magic slowed down, but the Grizzlies were much more successful in scoring. Desmond Bane put up six more points in the third quarter as did Santi Aldama. Banchero and (Franz) Wagner maxed out at three additional points in the third. The Grizzlies closed the scoring gap and went into the fourth with only a six-point deficit, 77-71.
The Grizzlies clawed through the fourth quarter, narrowing Orlando’s lead to just one point with only four minutes left in the game. However, the Magic managed get more points on the board and widen the gap again by five points in the final two minutes. The rest of the game was a bit of a nail biter for Magic fans, seeing the lead shrink and grow between two and five points with fouls and free throws for Terrence Ross for the Magic and Ja Morant for the Grizzlies.
For the Magic, Wendell Carter Jr. topped in scoring with 18 points and 8 assists, with Paolo Banchero and Terrence Ross backing him up each with 17 points.
All in all, the Magic won 109-105. They have one more home game against the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday, October 14 at 7pm ET, before getting back on the road.
Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News.
Orlando Magic Sign Kevon Harris to Two-Way Contract
ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Magic have signed free agent guard Kevon Harris (KEE-von) to a two-way contract, President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deal are not disclosed.
Harris (6’6”, 216, 6/24/97) played in 24 games (23 starts) last season with Raptors 905 of the NBA G League, averaging 15.1 ppg., 5.7 rpg., 3.6 apg. and 1.17 stlpg. in 30.2 minpg. Most recently, he played and started in all five games with Minnesota during the NBA 2K23 Summer League 2022, averaging 15.8 ppg., 2.8 rpg., 2.0 apg. and 1.00 stlpg. in 27.1 minpg.
Not drafted by an NBA franchise, Harris has played in 31 career NBA G League regular season games (23 starts), all with Raptors 905, averaging 12.4 ppg., 4.7 rpg. and 2.9 apg. in 25.5 minpg.
Harris played in 127 career games (104 starts) during four seasons at Stephen F. Austin (2016-20), averaging 14.4 ppg., 5.3 rpg., 1.6 apg. and 1.05 stlpg. in 28.0 minpg., while shooting .397 (188-474) from three-point range. As a senior (2019-20), he played and started in 31 games, averaging 17.5 ppg., 5.7 rpg., 2.1 apg. and 1.52 stlpg. in 29.3 minpg., while shooting .413 (59-143) from three-point range. Harris was named First Team All-Southland Conference and the 2019-20 Southland Conference Player of the Year. He also earned Second Team All-Southland Conference twice (2017-18, 2018-19).
Harris will wear #7 with the Orlando Magic.
Per NBA rules, teams are permitted to have a maximum of two players under two-way contracts in addition to the players under standard NBA contracts. A two-way player is also eligible to provide services to Orlando’s G League affiliate, the Lakeland Magic.
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