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Magic Squander Third Quarter Rally Against Bucks Thursday, 136-118

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Orlando's Moritz Wagner attempts a shot while Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounpo attempts the block during the Orlando Magic's rematch against the Milwaukee Bucks at Amway Center Thursday, December 30, 2021. Photo: Harry Castiblanco/Florida National News.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – The Orlando Magic came into Thursday rematch against the Milwaukee Bucks short of Robin Lopez and Hassani Gravett, who are in the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols.

With that blow, the Magic struggled against the Bucks again, as expected. During Tuesday’s postgame press conference, Wendell Carter Jr. lamented the fact that the Magic allowed too many Bucks points in the second quarter, which is what cost them the game. Thursday’s performance had a similar consequence. The Bucks landed three-pointer after three-pointer on the Magic.

The Bucks led the Magic 32-24 at the end of first quarter.

With just under seven minutes left in the quarter, the Bucks showed out with Giannis Antetokounpo’s alley oop dunk from Khris Middleton. The Magic answered with their own dunk by way of Moritz Wagner.

The Bucks led the Magic 63-51 at halftime.

Unlike the last few home games–in which the Magic weaken in the third quarter and leave points on the table–the Magic came alive in the third quarter Thursday, at least until three minutes left.

With 6:05 left in the third, Franz Wagner tied the score at 71 with a three-pointer. The tie was immediately broken on the next play by Bobby Portis Jr., but kudos to the Magic for rallying in the third quarter to close the previous double-digit gap. With little over five minutes left in the third, Wagner tied the game again with another three-pointer, 74-74, giving the Magic a semblance of a fighting chance. Gary Harris and Wendell Carter Jr. contributed shots that kept the lead switching between the Bucks and Magic several times.

The one chronic problem for the Magic: fouls. Each time the Magic would nab the lead, one of the players would foul. Ignas Brazdeikis, Admiral Schofield, and Gary Harris had fouls, which sent Bucks’ Jrue Holiday, Donte DiVincenzo and DeMarcus Cousins to the free throw line. At the end of the third, the Bucks were back to a double-digit lead: 96-85.

All in all, fouls and rebounds were the Magic’s two biggest Achilles heels in Thursdays match. The Magic only had 27 rebounds to the Bucks’ 42 in the fourth quarter; and 20 fouls to the Bucks’ 15.

The final score: 136-118.

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Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | mellissa.thomas@floridanationalnews.com

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NBA

Despite Fultz, Anthony and Ross Return, Orlando Magic Fall to Atlanta Hawks 125-108

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FILE - Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks attempts a layup during the Hawks' match against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center on February 16, 2022. (Harry Castiblanco/Florida National News file photo)
FILE - Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks attempts a layup during the Hawks' match against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center on February 16, 2022. (Harry Castiblanco/Florida National News file photo)

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – The Orlando Magic entered Wednesday night’s home game against the Atlanta Hawks with swagger with the return of three key weapons: Terrence Ross, Cole Anthony and, most notably, Markelle Fultz, who played his first game of the season.

According to Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley pregame, Fultz and Anthony were scheduled for limited play: 15 and 20 minutes, respectively.

Before the game, Atlanta Hawks head coach said the Magic “are scrappy. They’re going to play 48 minutes, they’re hungry just as we are. We’ll see who’s the hungrier team.”

Orlando’s starting five: Paolo Banchero, Bol Bol, Markelle Fultz, Frantz Wagner and Gary Harris.

 

First Half

Coach Mosley cycled through his starting five and bench in the first quarter alone. Fultz played for the first 4.5 minutes before being replaced by Cole Anthony. Fultz returned to the court with 2:45 left in the first quarter, and Moritz Wagner entered the court for the first time in the game.

The Hawks proved hungrier in the first quarter, leading the Magic 38-27 by the end of it. The cause? Magic fouls, Atlanta’s intense defense, and fewer defensive rebounds than usual for the Magic. The Hawks got a total of 12 rebounds to Orlando’s seven; only committed three fouls to Orlando’s eight–helping the Hawks go six for nine on free throws.

That’s just in the first quarter.

Altanta’s Clint Capela caused the biggest headache for Orlando, scoring 12 points in the first quarter–far more than any other player on the court. He nailed all six of his field goals.

For the Magic, Terrence Ross and Paolo Banchero each scored a team high six points in the first quarter, Fultz going 2 for 6 on field goals.

The Hawks defense went up a notch in the second quarter. The Magic never had a chance to get even close to closing the point gap.

Dejountae Murray took Capela’s place in scoring for the Hawks in the second quarter, netting 12 points himself. The Hawks were 12 for 23 on field goals, with 15 rebounds and five total assists in the second quarter. The Magic seemed to deflate in the second quarter, going 8 for 21 on field goals, with 10 rebounds and six assists in the second.

The Hawks led by 20 points at halftime, 70-50.

 

Second Half

Trae Young cleaned house for the Hawks, netting 15 points in the third quarter, going 6 for 10 on field goals. For the Magic, Paolo Banchero contributed eight points and Franz Wagner contributed five. Cole Anthony got one point in while Kevon Harris, whom coach Mosley switched in for Garry Harris, made seven.

The Magic were 9 for 19 on field goals with 10 assists paling in comparison to the Hawks, who nearly replicated their second quarter performance, going 12 for 26 on field goals with 15 rebounds and three assists.

The Hawks hit the 100-point mark at the end of the third, 100-76.

The Magic still couldn’t catch up in the fourth quarter and ultimately lost to the Hawks 125-108.

 

Orlando Magic Postgame Press Conference

Head coach Jamahl Mosley, Markelle Fultz and Cole Anthony talk with the press after Wednesday’s loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

The Orlando Magic head on the road for the next two games, first facing the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday, December 2 at 7:30pm EST. They return home to host the Milwaukee Bucks Monday, December 5 at 7pm EST.

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Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | mellissa.thomas@floridanationalnews.com

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NBA

Orlando Magic Lag Far Behind Minnesota Timberwolves, 126-108

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Franz Wagner fights off the Minnesota Timberwolves defense as he attempts a layup during the Orlando Magic vs. Minnesota Timberwolves match at Amway Center Wednesday. Photo: Harry Castiblanco/Florida National News.
Franz Wagner fights off the Minnesota Timberwolves defense as he attempts a layup during the Orlando Magic vs. Minnesota Timberwolves match at Amway Center Wednesday. Photo: Harry Castiblanco/Florida National News.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – The Minnesota Timberwolves showed themselves to be true predators against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center Wednesday.

 

First Half

Minnesota’s Anthony Edwards hit the ground running, scoring 19 points in the first quarter alone–more than anyone in the game up to that point. For the Magic, Bol Bol led in the scoring with eight points as well as three rebounds, which looks meager by comparison, but he did make some clutch plays. He shot 7 of 10 on field goals and 5 of 8 on three-pointers. The Orlando Magic were already 10 points behind with 5:57 left in the first quarter: 20-10.

The first quarter ended with the Magic 18 points behind, 42-24.

Karl Anthony Towns shot the ball with the hunger of a starved man, making more than anyone on either team in the second quarter–13 points.

The Timberwolves led 74-49 at halftime.

 

Second Half

With 4.9 seconds left in the third quarter, Taurean Prince got collared with a flagrant foul for his elbow to Jalen Suggs’ face as Suggs attempted a layup. Prince was ejected from the game while Suggs went to the free throw line for two and the Magic retained possession of the ball. The end of the third quarter found the Magic behind by 18 again, 98-80.

In the fourth quarter, Jalen Suggs landed some clutch shots that halved the Magic’s point deficit to nine with nine minutes left in the game. However, the Magic couldn’t keep up with the Timberwolves’ aggressive scoring. Despite the fans’ energy buoying them and Bol Bol and Jalen Suggs fighting like hell to sink shots, the Magic still fell to them, 126-108.

 

Orlando Magic Postgame Press Conference

Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley, Jalen Suggs and Bol Bol talk with the media postgame.

Tonight’s game ends the Magic’s homestand. They go on the road to face the Chicago Bulls Friday. They’ll return home to host the Philadelphia 76ers in back-to-back matchups Friday, November 25th at 7pm and Sunday, November 27th at 6pm.

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Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | mellissa.thomas@floridanationalnews.com

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NBA

Orlando Magic Turnovers Cost Them Against Charlotte Hornets, 112-105

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Charlotte Hornets' LaMelo Ball makes a shot during the Orlando Magic vs. Charlotte Hornets match at Amway Center Monday, November 14, 2022. Photo: Harry Castiblanco/Florida National News.
Charlotte Hornets' LaMelo Ball makes a shot during the Orlando Magic vs. Charlotte Hornets match at Amway Center Monday, November 14, 2022. Photo: Harry Castiblanco/Florida National News.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – The Charlotte Hornets came into Monday night’s match against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center with their darling LaMelo Ball back and ready to do damage. And they did.

For their part, the Magic came into the game with the wind at their back after Friday’s 114-97 win against the Phoenix Suns. However, their defense–or perhaps Charlotte’s more aggressive offense–caused them to play from behind.

 

First Half

The numbers showed that the Magic defense needed a bit of help. They had six turnovers to Charlotte’s two.

While LaMelo Ball contributed five points, one assist and one rebound, Kelly Oubre Jr. was the additional thorn in the Magic’s side throughout the game. Oubre actually led for Charlotte in the first quarter with six points and two rebounds. P.J. Washington also put up six points in the first quarter with three rebounds.

Franz Wagner and Mo Bamba (off the bench) did the heavy lifting for Orlando in the first quarter, each contributing eight points. Bamba also offered three rebounds and was sharp on his shots, going 3 for 3 on all field goals (including his one three-pointer) and 1 for 2 on free throws.

The Magic lagged behind 31-23 by the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter the Magic turned the ball over seven times to Charlotte’s three. To their credit, Wendell Carter, Jr. posted eight points and two rebounds while Bamba put up six points with four rebounds.

The Magic made a good rescue play with three minutes left in the first half. The Magic had possession of the ball and twice turned over the moment they got in the paint. Jalen Suggs redeemed his team on the second turnover, stealing the ball and bringing it back to the Magic’s paint. His layup attempt got blocked, but Bol Bol came in clutch with the offensive rebound and dunked it in.

While LaMelo was scoreless in the second quarter, he contributed five assists, while Mason Plumlee and Terry Rozier did the scoring with six points each and Plumlee clocking three rebounds.

The Hornets outscored the Magic by five–27-22 points, making the halftime score 58-45. They were 11 for 21 on their field goals and were 5 for 6 on free throws while Orlando was only 9 for 20 on field goals and 3 for 6 on free throws.

 

Second Half

Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley switched things up a little bit in the third quarter, bringing his bench in. Terrence Ross, Caleb Houstan, Kevon Harris and RJ Hampton all got touches. Hampton led in scoring in the third with 10 points while Caleb Houston followed with six points.

The two teams tied each other in assists and even turnovers with four, and the Magic even beat the Hornets in rebounds–16 to their 10–but the Hornets still outscored the Magic by two points by the end of the third. The difference lied in their field goals. The Hornets were 9 for 19 (47.4 percent) on field goals compared to the Magic’s 8 for 27 (29.6 percent). Additionally, the Hornets did fewer three pointers, but they did damage there too, going 2 for 7 on threes compared to Orlando’s 5 for 15. Both teams were 100 percent on free throws (6 of 6 for Charlotte and 3 of 3 for Orlando).

The score landed at 84-69 by the end of the third.

The narrative continued through the fourth quarter. The score reached 104-92 with 2.5 minutes left in the game.

Wendell Carter Jr.’s two free throws finally put the Magic over 100 points with just one minute left. The Hornets scored again, making the score 110-101, and Ball went to the line, missing both. His mistake, though, was diving for the rebound, fouling Bol Bol, who went to the line and sank both free throws, bringing the score to 110-103.

The Hornets defeated the Magic 112-105.

Charlotte’s Mason Plumlee was the team high scorer with a double double on the night, 18 points and 11 rebounds. Terry Rozier and LaMelo Ball followed with 17 points each. Ball contributed nine assists and four rebounds.

 

Orlando Magic Postgame Press Conference

Orlando Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley, Franz Wagner and Mo Bamba speak with the press postgame.

 

 

The Magic end their seven-game homestand Wednesday when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves at 7pm ET.

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Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | mellissa.thomas@floridanationalnews.com

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