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Orlando Magic Fight Hard, But Fall to Philadelphia 76ers 116-114 in OT

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – The Orlando Magic gave the Philadelphia 76ers a tougher time than the visiting team is used to on Sunday.

 

First Half

As expected, the 76ers opened up the scoring and threatened to go on a run, but the Magic–specifically Wendell Carter Jr.–hustled to keep that from happening. Constant fouls also didn’t help the 76ers.

With two minutes left in the first quarter, the Magic had already caught up to the 76ers and tied it 22 all, and ended the quarter in the lead, 29-24.

The Magic went on a run in the second quarter with aggressive rebounding and nailing three after three after three. Moritz Wagner scored one while Chuma Okeke and Gary Harris each scored two. In a crowd favorite, Markelle Fultz got a rebound and toss the ball to Moritz Wagner, who was already at Orlando’s net, for the alley-oop dunk.

Tobias Harris led the scoring for Philly with 15 points and four rebounds. Joel Embiid was Philly’s second highest scorer in the first with 12 points, five assists, and rebounds.

For the Magic, Wendell Carter, Jr. led with 16 points, five rebounds and two assists. Chuma Okeke followed with 13 points, one assist and four rebounds.

The Magic led the 76ers where it counted: 53.7 percent in field goals to the 76ers’ 33.3 percent, 40 percent to their 26.7 percent on three-pointers, 25 rebounds to their 21, five steals to their three, and double their assists: 18 to 9.

One key advantage Philly had was successful free throws: they shot 91.7 percent from the line compared to Orlando’s 70 percent.

The Magic led the 76ers 59-47 at halftime.

 

Second Half

The 76ers came out stronger in the third quarter and shrank the lead. With just over four minutes left in the third, they only lagged by four points, 67-63. One key reason for that: the Magic kept fouling Joel Embiid–an avid free throw shooter. He was 100 percent on free throws Sunday, making all ten of his free throws. With about a minute left in the third, they also send James Harden to the line, who is also a highly accurate free throw shooter. He shot 88 percent (8-9) from the line.

By the end of the third quarter, Orlando’s Wendell Carter, Jr. got his double double on the night with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Joel Embiid got his as well with 25 points and 12 rebounds.

While Markelle Fultz wasn’t a big scorer Sunday night, his presence was felt nonetheless, nailing a much-needed three-pointer in the fourth quarter and clocking a total of 10 assists and eight points up to that point in the game. With a little less than 10 minutes left in the game, the Magic led by eight, 88-80–after sending James Harden to the line against for two free throws, which he successfully shot.

Philly’s Embiid and Harden kept getting chances at the free throw line in the fourth quarter, shrinking their to point deficit to four, 94-90.

With less than six minutes left in the game, Philly was just two points away from tying it up, then Wendell Carter Jr. answered with a layup, spreading the gap back to four points…until Chuma Okeke fouled Joel Embiid and also got a tech foul. After RJ Hampton’s successful shot, the 76ers were finally able to tie the game at 98 points thanks to Harden’s three-pointer. Joel Embiid’s next three put them in the bonus. Tyrese Maxey’s foul sent Orlando to the line, which helped the Magic finally break 100 points.

Orlando was saved by another foul. This time Georges Niang sent Cole Anthony to the line for two, which he successfully shot, switching the lead back to Orlando, 102-101.

Tobias Harris switched the lead back to Philly with the and 1from Franz Wagner, 104-102. Tyrese Maxey fouled Cole Anthony again, and his two free throws tied the game again, 104 all. Then the clock ran out, and the game went into overtime.

The battle for the ball saw both sides making fouls and taking timeouts–that is, after Cole Anthony’s three consecutive 3-pointers put the Magic up to 113.

At the final buzzer, the 76ers snatched the victory from the Magic, 116-114.

The 76ers return home to face the Denver Nuggets Monday at 7:30pm EST. The Magic next host another tough team, the Brooklyn Nets, Tuesday at 7pm EST.

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

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