ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – In the last two home games, the Orlando Magic could not find ways to score the basketball, but on Wednesday night they finally got back their scoring ways. Nikola Vucevic’s 24 points led the Magic to a 112-99 victory over the New York Knicks.
In a game where the Knicks’ best player, Kristaps Porzingis, was held out due to elbow and finger injuries, the Magic spread the floor in order keep Knicks starting center Enes Kanter out of the game. Vucevic shot 9 for 16 from the floor and knocked down 3 three-pointers in the effort. Aaron Gordon chipped in with 21 points and went 4 for 6 from deep as well. Orlando finished 13 for 28 as a team from deep and four of the five starters hit at least two (Elfrid Payton was the only starter who did not hit one.).
The Knicks, who had won their previous three games including two of them with fourth quarter comebacks, could not pull this one out without Porzingis. Jonathon Simmons scored 11 of his 16 points in the early part of fourth quarter to keep the Knicks at bay. Simmons at one point had three possessions in the quarter in which he was fouled as he was making a tough shot in the lane.
“That’s sort of been when we’re at our best, with the starting unit doing what they’re doing and Simms coming in and running the show with the second unit… And he carried that stretch, he and Aaron kind of carried that stretch and he was terrific.” – Orlando Magic Head Coach Frank Vogel on Jonathon Simmons’ play in the 4th quarter
Elfrid Payton made his return to the Magic lineup as he scored 11 points, 6 rebounds and 11 assists. After missing the last 8 games due to a hamstring injury, he return sparked the Magic, as he controlled and outplayed the New York point guards.
“His dribble penetration and his tempo. When we get scored on, I’m able to out [the ball] to him from near half-court and he gets into the paint. If nobody picks him up, it’s a lay-up or he just kicks it out to people. He always has his head up. He’s just a very, very talented point guard.” – Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon on Elfrid Payton’s impact
The Magic were out-rebounded 42-29, but made it up by forcing 23 Knicks turnovers in the game. Evan Fournier had 5 steals and the team finished with 15 total. Every Magic starter finished with a plus rating on the plus/minus chart, with Payton leading the way with a plus 20.
Tim Hardaway Jr. led the Knicks with 26 points and a game-high 11 rebounds on 11 for 21 shooting from the field. Doug McDermott had 13 points off the bench for New York.
Orlando will travel for a four-game road trip that starts on Friday in Phoenix as they play the new-look Suns. The trip will stop in Denver and Portland and ends with a trip to the defending champion Golden State Warriors. They will return to Amway Center next Saturday Night as they take on the Utah Jazz.
Danny Thompson is a sports contributor for Florida National News. | email@example.com
Orlando Magic Rally Late to Beat Washington Wizards 122-112
ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – The Orlando Magic had a lot of ground to make up for at home after their long road run, and the Washington Wizards didn’t make it easy on them–their defense greatly frustrated the Magic.
The Wizards led most of the first quarter, especially since the Magic made none of their three-pointers…until Moritz Wagner came in off the bench with just over two minutes left in the first. With a couple of shots, he switched the lead to Orlando by a single point at the end of the first quarter, 26-25.
Cole Anthony got a nice and-1 after his rebound from a failed Wizard free throw. Bradley Beal fouled him as he ran into the paint, but Anthony’s fadeaway shot was successful as he fell to the floor.
In the second quarter the Wizards regained the lead, but like in the first quarter, the Magic rallied near the end of the quarter. When Gary Harris, Markelle Fultz and the other Wagner, Franz, got back on the court, the Magic began sinking more shots.
Mo Wagner contributed 11 points in the first two quarters, while Franz, Harris and Anthony each followed with 10 points. The Magic also made up for their three-pointer deficit in second quarter. They were seven of 17 (41.2 percent) on threes in the first half compared to the Wizards’ five of 15 (33.3 percent) and were 23 of 43 on field goals (53.5 percent) compared to the Wizards’ 21 of 40 (52.5 percent).
For Washington, Deni Avdija and Monte Morris led the scoring with 12 points each; Kristaps Porzingis followed with 11 points.
The Magic secured a four-point lead heading into halftime, 60-56.
The Magic ended third quarter one point behind, 88-87.
The Magic brought the fire in the fourth quarter, getting on a run between Markelle Fultz, Wendell Carter Jr. and Paolo Banchero, who went to the free throw line three times late in the fourth and nailed every free throw. The highlight play of the second half happened within the final minute of the game: Banchero had pressure on him and made an ugly fadeaway baseline three-pointer…and sank it in.
The most critical hit of all was Bradley Beal fouling out of the game, which dealt a huge blow to the Wizards’ offense in the final stretch. Porzingis tried to pick up the slack, but the Magic saw the blood in the water and piled on the pressure, closing out the game with a 10-point win, 122-112.
For the night, Gary Harris led in scoring for the Magic with 22 points, going six for nine on three pointers and seven for 10 on field goals. Franz Wagner followed with 20 points with four rebounds and six assists. Banchero contributed 18 points and was six of six on free throws. Fultz contributed 17 points with five rebounds and five assists.
For the Wizards, Porzingis led the scoring by far, with 30 total points, six rebounds and three assists. Beal followed with 16 points, five rebounds and seven assists.
Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | firstname.lastname@example.org
Orlando Magic to induct Dennis Scott into their Hall of Fame March 23
Orlando, FL – The Orlando Magic will induct Dennis Scott into their Hall of Fame on Thursday, March 23 at 3:45 p.m. in Amway Center, near the Nutrilite Magic Fan Experience.** Scott will become the 12th member of the Orlando Magic Hall of Fame.
“Dennis (Scott) still remains one of the elite, long-range shooters in both Orlando Magic and NBA history,” said Martins. “His ability to shoot from beyond the three-point arc was a major key to our success during his time in Orlando and his records stand to this day. We are proud to make Dennis the next inductee into the Orlando Magic Hall of Fame.”
Originally selected in the first round (fourth overall) of the 1990 NBA Draft by Orlando, Scott played seven seasons with the Magic from 1990-97. He played in 446 regular season games (322 starts) with Orlando, averaging 14.8 ppg., 3.1 rpg. and 2.3 apg. in 30.7 minpg., while shooting .403 (981-2,432) from three-point range.
During the 1995-96 campaign, Scott set a then-NBA single season-record with 267 three-pointers made, a standard that lasted for ten years. The 267 three-pointers made remains the franchise record for most made in a season. On April 18, 1996 vs. Atlanta, Scott connected on 11 three-pointers, breaking the then-NBA single game-record, a mark that lasted for almost seven seasons. The 11 three-pointers made also remains the franchise record for most made in a game.
Scott also appeared in 41 playoff games (31 starts) with Orlando, averaging 12.2 ppg., 3.0 rpg. and 1.9 apg. in 33.8 minpg., while shooting .364 (92-253) from three-point range. On May 25, 1995 vs. Indiana, he made seven three-pointers during Game #2 of the Eastern Conference Finals, setting a franchise playoff-record that still stands today. Scott helped the Magic reach the 1995 NBA Finals.
Scott remains the Orlando Magic all-time leader in three-pointers made with 981. Entering this season, he also ranks among the franchise’s all-time leaders in three-point field goals attempted (second, 2,432), field goals attempted (seventh, 5,737), games played (eighth, 446), steals (eighth, 429), points scored (tenth, 6,603), field goals made (tenth, 2,421) and minutes played (tenth, 13,692).
The Orlando Magic unveiled its inaugural Hall of Fame class on April 9, 2014 with the first two inductees, Magic co-founder Pat Williams and the team’s first-ever draft pick and current community ambassador, Nick Anderson. Scott also joins Shaquille O’Neal (2015), the late Rich DeVos (2016), Anfernee Hardaway (2017), Jimmy Hewitt (2017), Tracy McGrady (2018), David Steele (2019), Darrell Armstrong (2020), John Gabriel (2022) and Brian Hill (2022) in the Orlando Magic Hall of Fame.
The Orlando Magic Hall of Fame honors and celebrates the great players, coaches and executives who have had a major impact during the team’s illustrious 34-year history. It bridges the past with the future of Magic basketball, and the exhibit, located in Amway Center on the terrace level near Nutrilite Magic Fan Experience, provides Magic fans an opportunity to learn some Magic history while in the building. The inductees are selected based on their overall on and off the court contributions to the team and organization, years of service, impact in the community and general character of the individual.
Jonathan Isaac to Miss Remainder of 2022-23 Regular Season Due to Another Injury
ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac underwent surgery on Friday morning to repair a torn left adductor muscle and will miss the remainder of the 2022-23 regular season. An MRI conducted Wednesday revealed the injury, after he felt discomfort following Tuesday’s practice in Milwaukee.
“Our thoughts are with Jonathan, whose fortitude in dealing with adversity is unique,” said Orlando Magic President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman. “Jonathan has worked extremely hard to return to the court this season and has demonstrated his impact on our team. We will be by his side as he focuses on the work ahead.”
Isaac (6’10”, 230, 10/3/97) played in 11 games this season, averaging 5.0 ppg., 4.0 rpg. and 1.27 stlpg. in 11.3 minpg.
Originally selected in the first round (sixth overall) of the 2017 NBA Draft by Orlando, Isaac has appeared in 147 career NBA regular season games (106 starts), all with the Magic, averaging 9.0 ppg., 5.3 rpg., 1.0 apg., 1.43 blkpg. and 1.08 stlpg. in 24.7 minpg. He has also played and started in five career playoff outings, averaging 6.6 ppg., 6.2 rpg. and 1.00 blkpg. in 27.3 minpg.