ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – The Orlando Magic had a better third quarter against the L.A. Clippers at Amway Center Wednesday…but they still ended up slipping in the fourth.
The Magic started started strong scoring in the first quarter, making 25 points in the first half (two more than LA). They made three less than LA in the second quarter, scoring 23 to LA’s 26, but came out ahead by a hair.
Mo Bamba thrilled the crowd with back to back dunks in the second quarter. The Magic were only behind by one point at halftime, 49-48.
Things looked promising for the Magic at the beginning of the third quarter–more rebounds, a successful three-pointer and nice alley oop pass to Franz Wagner from Cole Anthony. Anthony repeated the same alley oop pass–this time from backcourt–halfway into the third, and Wagner dunked it in again.
On the Magic’s next possession Mo Bamba got a nice dunk in from Wendell Carter Jr.’s pass.
With Luke Kennard’s foul, Cole Anthony went to the free throw line for three…and nailed all three.
Late in the third, Anthony was Orlando’s leading man with 13 points, seven for seven on free throws and three for five on field goals and eight assists.
LA’s Terance Mann was the leading scorer for the Clippers with 14 points. He was six for nine on field goals and two for three on three-pointers.
The Magic ended the third quarter with a 78-76 lead, but it began to slip through their fingers in the fourth.
In the fourth quarter, the tables turned for Luke Kennard, and he ended up at the line shooting three and scored all three.
By the 7:32 mark in the fourth, the Magic lagged behind 89-82.
The Clippers ran away with the lead with consistent scoring while the Magic began missing more of their shots. By 4:50 left in the game, the Clippers led 96-89.
A controversial play came in the final two minutes of the game. Gary Harris made a baseline three-pointer, and with a 104-89 score, the Magic needed some points. However, after review, the basket was disallowed due to Harris being out of bounds when he made the shot.
Mo Wagner made up for it on Orlando’s next possession. In fact he scored twice in a row, bringing the score to 105-94.
Franz Wagner followed his brother’s example and double scored as well, nailing a three-pointer followed by a dunk, pushing the Magic to 99 points to LA’s 106. The Clippers froze the clock with a timeout with 16.1 seconds left to play.
What put the nail in Orlando’s coffin, was Wendell Carter Jr.’s foul on Amir Coffey, who went to the line for two.
Cole Anthony softened the blow with a three-pointer to break the 100-point mark at 102, only to foul Jay Scrubbs, who went to the line for two.
The Magic called time out with 8.4 seconds left in the game and a 111-102 score.
The Magic next host the Detroit Pistons at Amway Center Friday.
Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | firstname.lastname@example.org