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Orlando Magic Fall at Home Against San Antonio Spurs

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Magic guard Cole Anthony. Photo: Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – The Orlando Magic struggled to rise to face the San Antonio Spurs at Amway Center Friday–defense to defense. Both teams are off to a tough start, each with just two wins on the season, they both came into Friday’s game with something to prove.

 

First Half

San Antonio proved themselves the more aggressive team offensively with an equally intense defense, keeping the Magic at an average ten-point distance throughout the first half. Magic offense, despite their sincerest efforts, couldn’t score frequently enough to close the gap more than that.

Magic play of the first quarter: Pressed on every side, the Magic spread the ball around to thin the defense. The Spurs piled on Terrence Ross in the paint, but with a quick one-arm hook pass found Mo Bamba, who got the bucket.

Magic play of the second quarter: Garry Harris ran the ball into the paint, making a quick pass to Chuma Okeke, who ran a smooth layup.

The Spurs led 49-36 at halftime.

In the first half, the Spurs tied the Magic in turnovers (seven), but led in pretty much everything else: 44.2 percent to Orlando’s 31.9 percent in field goals, 33.3 percent to Orlando’s 17.6 percent in three pointers, and clocked 27 rebounds to Orlando’s 23.

Spurs forward Keldon Johnson and guard Dejounte Murray led in scoring in the first half, with 11 and 10 points respectively. Magic scoring was meager, with only Jalen Suggs breaking double digits (12) in the first half.

The Magic did lead in one thing, but it wasn’t a good thing: Fouls. They clocked seven fouls to San Antonio’s six, and while it’s only a difference of one foul, that gap created a greater point gap. The Spurs were eight for ten on free throws compared to the Magic’s three of five.

 

Second Half

The Magic fouls continued in the third quarter: two in a row, actually. The first was on Cole Anthony, giving the Spurs three free throws. Jalen Suggs followed with a foul himself.

Spurs play of the third quarter: Devin Vassell posterized Orlando’s Wendell Carter, Jr. with a hard dunk.

To be fair, the Magic immediately answered with their own play of the quarter: Jalen Suggs made a high one-arm pass over the Spurs defense to find Wendell Carter, Jr. who shot it in for two.

The Spurs still led by the end of the third, and maintained the same point gap average as in the first half: 72-62.

Magic play of the fourth quarter: Cole Anthony got the fast break and dunked it in, giving the Magic 75 points. RJ Hampton helped on the next two possessions with a solid three pointer and a fast break layup, making the score 89-80.

With just under four minutes left in the game, the Spurs led 93-80. By the buzzer, both teams added nine points for a final score of 102-89.

During the postgame press conference, both Orlando Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley and Cole Anthony agreed that key shots “weren’t falling.” Anthony went on to add that he himself “played too selfishly.” Mosley said he persistently reminded his players to “trust the process” and continue to play to the system they’ve developed.

The Magic play the third of a their five-game homestand Sunday, hosting the Utah Jazz at 6pm EST. The Spurs remain on the road for their next match, heading to Oklahoma Sunday to face the Thunder at 6pm CT.

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

NBA

Banchero, Harris Lead Orlando Magic to Indiana Pacers Defeat, 126-120

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Orlando Magic power forward Paolo Banchero attempts a layup during the Indiana Pacers at Orlando Magic match at Amway Center Wednesday, January 25, 2023. Photo: J. Willie David III/Florida National News.
Orlando Magic power forward Paolo Banchero attempts a layup during the Indiana Pacers at Orlando Magic match at Amway Center Wednesday, January 25, 2023. Photo: J. Willie David III/Florida National News.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Both the Orlando Magic and the Indiana Pacers came into Wednesday’s match with a victory in their previous matches. The Magic won 113-98 against the Boston Celtics Monday and the Pacers snapped their losing streak with a 116-110 win against the Chicago Bulls Tuesday. The Magic had so much depth in their bench, coach Jamahl Mosley’s player rotations were almost a flex.

 

First Half

With it also being Brazil Night at Amway Center, the audience’s energy was palpable and undeniable, and the Magic felt it. The team had already amassed a 10-0 lead two minutes into the first quarter. Pacers point guard TJ McConnell broke the run and started Indiana’s scoring with a layup plus the and-one. Pacers small forward Buddy Hield led the scoring for the team thereafter, amassing eight points. Center Miles Turner followed, contributing five points. McConnell also helped with three assists and one rebound.

At 7:04 in the first, Jonathan Isaac entered the court for his second game back with the Orlando Magic since tearing his ACL during the NBA bubble back in 2020. He first returned during Monday’s match against the Celtics, playing for ten minutes in the first half, then another four minutes in the second half and amassing 10 points in that game. Isaac scored his first shot at 3:47 in the first quarter Wednesday.

The Magic boasted a 14-point lead at the end of the first quarter, 46-29.

The Magic’s one Achilles heel: Bennedict Mathurin. They gave up points by sending him to the line for seven free throws in the first half, and he made five of them.

The Magic were 60.9 percent on field goals and 61.5 percent on three-pointers, with 20 total assists and 18 rebounds. However, while they exceeded the Pacers in every key statistic, the Pacers outscored them by 12 points in the second quarter, amassing 39 points to their 27.

Despite shrinking their lead, the Orlando Magic maintained it all of first half and went into halftime ahead by five, 73-68.

 

Second Half

Myles Turner led in scoring for Indiana in the third quarter–and led both teams for that matter–netting 10 points with eight rebounds. Gary Harris led scoring for the Magic with eight points. Markelle Fultz followed with six.

The Magic made a sweet buzzer play at the end of the third quarter. After a shot clock violation by Indiana, Jalen Suggs gained checked the ball and made his trademark football pass across the court, this time to Franz Wagner, who was just to the left of the net and successfully caught it and laid it up, making the score 102-91 at the buzzer.

In the end, Bennedict Mathurin led in scoring for Indiana with 26 points while Myles Turner had a double double on the night with 22 points and 13 rebounds.

For the Magic, Wendell Carter had a double double as well with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Paolo Banchero led the Magic in scoring with 23 points along with four assists and three rebounds. Gary Harris followed with 22 points, nailing 100 percent of his three-pointers and going eight of nine on field goals.

The Magic never surrendered the lead once in the game and won 126-120.

 

Orlando Magic Postgame Press Conference

 

 

The Magic head out on the road to face the Miami Heat Friday, January 27 at 8pm ET and return home to host the Chicago Bulls Saturday, January 28. The Pacers return home Friday to host the Milwaukee Bucks at 7pm ET.

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

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Orlando Magic Rally in 4th Quarter to Defeat the New Orleans Pelicans 123-110

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Orlando Magic forward Franz Wagner (#22) attempts a shot during the Orlando Magic vs. New Orleans Pelicans at Amway Center Friday, January 20, 2023. Photo: Harry Castiblanco/Florida National News.
Orlando Magic forward Franz Wagner (#22) attempts a shot during the Orlando Magic vs. New Orleans Pelicans at Amway Center Friday, January 20, 2023. Photo: Harry Castiblanco/Florida National News.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – The well-rested Orlando Magic started Friday’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans a bit on the slow side. Both teams had losses to make up for: the Pelicans’ stinging 124-98 loss to the Miami Heat Wednesday night and the Magic’s close 119-116 loss to the Denver Nuggets Sunday.

 

First Half

The Pelicans managed a 12-point lead in the first quarter up the final two minutes, 20-8. By the one minute mark, the Magic cut the deficit down to five points, 26-21. Jonas Valanciunas proved an early headache for the Magic, leading the scoring with 10 points and contributing four rebounds. Franz Wagner led the Magic in scoring in the first with eight points and contributing three assists. The quarter ended with the Pelicans leading by seven points, 30-23.

With seven minutes in the first half, the Magic managed to switch the lead and beat the Pelicans by one point, 43-42. New Orleans’ CJ McCollum answered with a layup, against which Franz Wagner clapped back with a three-pointer. The Pelicans replied with another two points, which tied the score, then a free throw to tip the score back to their side, 47-46.

After bandying one-point leads back and forth, CJ McCollum killed it with a three-pointer, and the Pelicans kept widening the gap. By the three-minute mark, they led by eight, 55-47.

Wagner continued to lead the Magic in scoring, contributing 13 points in the second quarter and three rebounds for a total of 21 points in the first half. Cole Anthony put in seven points, nailing all of his shots.

For the Pelicans, Herbert Jones led the scoring with six points and three others each tacked on five points: CJ McCollum, Jose Alvarado and Larry Nance Jr.

The Pelicans led by four at halftime, 60-56.

 

Second Half

Orlando’s Gary Harris came alive in the third quarter, nailing three three-pointers in a row, constantly shrinking the Pelicans’ lead to only one point. Harris led the Magic scoring in the third, contributed 12 points and was four for four on his three pointers.

Twice in a row in the third quarter during the second remaining minute, the Magic allowed the ball to get away from them and the Pelicans dunked on them for an easy four points, breaking the 83-point tie to 87-83. Fortunately, the Magic got the rebound and Markelle Fultz scored another much-needed layup (he scored one earlier in the third), shrinking the Pelicans’ lead to 87-85.

The Magic lost possession of the ball at least three more times, and it cost them, with Valaciunas and Trey Murphy repeatedly dunking on them with open paths in the paint. The Pelicans led by three at the end of the third, 91-88.

The Magic became a bit more aggressive in the fourth quarter, final switching the lead with a shot from Bol Bol and a three from Jalen Suggs, who also nailed the and-one, giving the Magic a three-point lead, 98-95. At that point, New Orleans head coach sent two major weapons back on the floor: CJ McCollum and Trey Murphy.

Bol Bol kept the run going, however, propelling the Magic to the 100-point mark and a five-point lead. Cole Anthony drove into the paint on the Magic’s next possession and nailed a layup. The Pelicans answered with a smooth pick and roll, but the Magic regained their seven-point lead thanks to Franz Wagner. Terrence Ross widened the lead to 10 points with a three-pointer, 107-97.

Moritz Wagner helped secure the Magic’s lead with a layup and the and-one, adding three points. In an epic play, his brother Franz ran the ball into the paint, then passed it back to Anthony at the top of the key, who landed nothing but net for a smooth three-pointer.

The Pelicans were able to score as far as 110 points, but by that point it was too late for them to ever close the gap. The Magic made the ultimate comeback to win the game 123-110.

 

Orlando Magic Postgame Press Conference

 

 

The Magic hit the road again Saturday to face the Washington Wizards at 7pm EST and return Monday to host the Boston Celtics at 7pm EST.

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

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L.A. Lakers Snap Their Losing Streak with 129-110 Win Over Orlando Magic

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LeBron James takes a shot for the L.A. Lakers as Orlando's Bol Bol attempts to block it during the Orlando Magic vs. L.A. Lakers match at Amway Center Tuesday, December 27, 2022. Photo: Harry Castiblanco/Florida National News.
LeBron James takes a shot for the L.A. Lakers as Orlando's Bol Bol attempts to block it during the Orlando Magic vs. L.A. Lakers match at Amway Center Tuesday, December 27, 2022. Photo: Harry Castiblanco/Florida National News.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – The Orlando Magic came into Tuesday’s game with an eight-win high while the Lakers came in four losses deep.

With Anthony Davis out indefinitely due to a stress injury in his right foot, the Lakers have been leaning heavily on LeBron James. They’re 1-4 since Davis’ injury and have allowed a staggering 124 points in all four losses.

 

First Half

The Magic started off well, but the Lakers outscored them. The Magic were only 9 of 24 on field goals while the Lakers were 14 of 26. And while the Magic went to the line a whopping 11 times, they went 7 of 11 on free throws.

With 5:19 left in the first quarter, Coach Mosley subbed in Wendell Carter Jr. and Cole Anthony for Bol Bol and Mo Wagner. Carter and Markelle Fultz each led the Magic scoring with seven points and Fultz contributed two rebounds and one assist in the quarter.

James chose to play more of a supporting role in the first half. Patrick Beverley in scoring for L.A. in the first quarter with nine points and Westbrook followed with six. James contributed four himself in the first quarter.

The Lakers led 33-27 by the end of the first quarter.

The Lakers outscored the Magic in the second quarter as well, netting 32 points to Orlando’s 28. While the Magic more of their shots in the second quarter (12 of 23 to LA’s 10 of 19), the Lakers bested them in rebounds, pulling the ball from the rim 12 times to Orlando’s eight. Lonnie Walker IV, James and Thomas Bryant each netted eight points for the Lakers in the second quarter. While Westbrook didn’t score in the quarter, he contributed five rebounds and three assists.

The Lakers widened their lead to ten points by halftime, 65-55.

 

Second Half

As expected, LeBron James took a more proactive role in the second half. On the plus side, his aggression also awakened the Magic a bit as well. He scored 12 points in the third quarter alone.

With 7:45 left in the third, Bol Bol came alive, knocking a Laker shot aside and making a shot of his own on the other end of the court.

While the Magic got 28 points in the third to LA’s 27, the Magic lagged by nine total at the end of the third quarter, 92-83.

Overall, the Magic’s biggest weakness was lack of defense. In fact, Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley said postgame that “there was none.” Markelle Fultz said they allowed the Lakers transition shots, which the Magic knew would be an issue.

The Lakers definitively defeated the Magic 129-110.

The Magic headed out immediately following the postgame press conference to fly out to Detroit, whom they face Wednesday night.

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

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