ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – The Sacramento Kings came at the Orlando Magic with speed and intensity at Amway Center Saturday. The Magic struggled to find the first half.
With just over five minutes left in the first quarter, Sacramento’s Harrison Barnes made a fast break and swung around Wagner for the dunk.
The Magic managed to shrink their deficit to two points, 25-23, courtesy of Cole Anthony’s left side 3-pointer. However, with Harrison Barnes’ behind the back layup and Davion Mitchell’s shot, the Kings jumped 29-23 with about three and a half minutes left in the first.
The Magic had an uphill battle heading into the second quarter 41-28.
Opening the second, Markelle Fultz led the scoring with a dramatic layup just before tumbling in a somersault on the floor as a result of Alex Len’s foul. Len answered with a successful shot, and thanks to Robin Lopez’s foul, got to shoot two free throws.
The struggle made sense with so many Kings getting hot in the first half. Davion Mitchell already put up 18 in the first with three rebounds and four assists. He was 8-11 on field goals, making two of his four 3-pointers. Damian Jones was red hot, clocking 11 points and shooting at 100 percent. Justin Holiday and Harrison Barnes each contributed 10 points.
For Orlando, Franz Wagner and Mo Bamba each contributed 10 points. Wagner was 6-8 on field goals while Bamba was 5-11 and also made seven rebounds.
While the Magic never grasped the lead, they closed the deficit gap some again by halftime. The Kings led 66-62.
Cole Anthony led the scoring in the third quarter with RJ Harris’s assist.
One noticeable constant in the third quarter: While the Kings were still highly aggressive and fast, less of their shots were landing, allowing Orlando to catch up.
Cole Anthony tied the game with seven left in the third at 70-all.
By 4:10 in the third, Orlando finally led by one, 77-76. By the end of the third, the Magic widened their lead to 84-81.
At the start of the fourth, both teams scrambled for the ball in the paint from Robin Lopez trying to tip in a shot that didn’t quite make it. Mo Wagner came in and secured the dunk and an and-1, successfully sinking the free throw.
With roughly ten minutes, a foul was called on Orlando center Robin Lopez (RoLo) against Chimezi Metu, which Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley unsuccessfully challenged. Metu went to the line and successfully sank two free throws.
Terrence Ross answered powerfully on the very next play thanks to Mo Wagner’s pass between two Kings players right under the net. Ross caught the pass and made the crowd roar with a reverse dunk.
It all came down to the final two minutes of the game. Literally. The Magic were up 105-97 points, and the Kings got even more aggressive on defense. As has become normal for the Magic now, the final minute multiplied into several minutes with fouls and missed shots, which allowed the Kings to catch up. The teams were tied 105-all at the end of regulation.
In overtime, the victory was the difference of two shots: a successful shot and a free throw. Damian Jones led the scoring with a reverse layup. The Magic then scored twice, with a 3-pointer from Chuma Okeke and a jump shot from Cole Anthony. It appears they got a bit too tense in the desperate scramble for the win, though, because they never scored again after that.
Donte DiVincenzo and Harrison Barnes each scored 3-pointers for Sacramento, putting the score at 113-110. But it was the foul that sealed Orlando’s fate. Cole Anthony fouled DiVincenzo, sending him to the line for two free throws. He successfully shot the first one and missed the second one, but with just 6.9 seconds left on the clock after the free throws, the one extra point is all Sacramento needed to secure the gap…and the win.
Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | email@example.com