ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – The Orlando Magic went into Monday’s match against the Portland Trail Blazers without their head coach on the sideline.
The team tweeted out earlier on Monday that head coach Jamahl Mosley entered into the NBA’s COVID protocols. According to the team, Mosley is asymptomatic. Assistant coach Jesse Mermuys took the helm in Mosley’s place.
With it being MLK Day, Michael Carter-Williams made an appearance in center court honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and thanking everyone for attending Monday’s game.
Moritz Wagner ended up the Magic’s leading scorer–off the bench at that. He led with 10 points and was two for two on free throws, three for six on field goals, and two for three on three pointers.
Jusuf Nurkic led the Blazers and already had a double double on the night by halftime with 15 points and 10 rebounds. He was seven for 12 on field goals and one for two on free throws.
The Blazers led 22-17 at the end of the first quarter.
A controversial play call came near the end of the first half. Gary Harris made a dunk for Orlando, and Anfernee Simons, who was standing the path of the dunk, fell from the force of Harris’ dunk, killing the two points and getting Harris a foul. The Magic used a time out to challenge the call, but after review, the call stood.
The Blazers had a gaping 54-40 lead at halftime.
The gap widened in the third quarter. With several fouls sending Blazers to the line, the Blazers led by 20 points at the end of the third quarter, 81-61.
By the fourth quarter, the Magic were essentially fight to maintain only a 20-point deficit. Each time they scored, the Blazers had an answer. Nassir Little joined Nurkic with his own double double on the night with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Nurkic led with 21 points and 22 rebounds.
Both Wagner brothers led the Magic in scoring, Franz with 14 and Moritz with 12.
In the end, the Magic shrank their deficit to 10 points: 98-88.
Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | firstname.lastname@example.org