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Orlando Magic Step Up, But Still Fall to Washington Wizards 131-116

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – With Cole Anthony finally back and a squad full of young blood, the Orlando Magic pushed as hard as they could in their losing battle against the dominant Washington Wizards Wednesday night at Amway Center.

The Magic are still staggering from the recent earth-shattering trades of Nicola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon, and Evan Fournier, plus they returned home from a road trip rife with game losses and injuries. Wednesday, their new squad of young bloods brought a level of hunger, defense and speed not seen in quite some time.

 

Starting Five

Orlando Magic: Michael Carter-Williams, Chuma Okeke, James Ennis III, Dwayne Bacon, Wendell Carter, Jr.

Washington Wizards: Russell Westbrook, Deni Avdija, Bradley Beal, Rui Hachimura, Alex Len

 

The Matchup

The Magic’s young players moved with speed and decent defense against the more agressive Wizards, making the game a worthy watch.

Mo Bamba was more active around the rim with eight rebounds and two blocks on the night. He was 7 for 12 in field goals, made three of his four three-pointers, and nailed both free throws.

In Cole Anthony’s comeback, he shone on assists, with a game high of seven. His offensive game will need to thaw some more, as expected. In his first night back on home court, he was half on free throws (2/4) and three pointers (1/2), and went 5 for 14 on field goals.

What ultimately caused the Magic’s loss wasn’t lack of effort. They passed the Wizards in points in the paint (52 to 44), second chance points (13 to 8) and fast break points (10 to 8). The three pointers, field goals and free throws made all the difference, and Washington dominated in those areas.

Even with the Magic getting 51 rebounds to the Wizards’ 43 and 11 steals to their seven, Washington was 52 percent to Orlando’s 38 percent from beyond the arc, 57 percent to Orlando’s 47 percent in field goals and 87 percent to 69 percent from the free throw line.

Russell Westbrook netted a double double on the night with 14 rebounds, 16 assists and one epic block at the end of the first quarter against Anthony.

Bradley Beal was Washington’s lead scorer with 26 points, and Terrence Ross led for Orlando with 24 points.

In the end, the Wizards conquered the Magic 131-116.

Orlando returns to home court Friday, April 9 to host the Indiana Pacers at 7pm ET.

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

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