Cole Anthony’s Game-Winning Three Caps Off Magic’s Comeback Victory
Cole Anthony wants the ball in his hands in crunch time. His coaches are happy to oblige. The rookie guard scored 15 of his career-high 26 points in the fourth quarter and drilled a game-winning 3-pointer with 0.1 seconds left to lift the Orlando Magic to a thrilling 112-111 comeback victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday at Amway Center.
Earlier this season, Anthony sank a game-winning triple at the buzzer in Minnesota. A few nights ago, he made a few clutch buckets in Cleveland. On Saturday, despite Kyle Anderson, a long, feisty defender, draped all over him, Anthony once again showed no fear and buried another game winner for Orlando, which trailed by 20 in the third quarter. Dillon Brooks had put Memphis in front on the prior possession with a pull-up jumper with seven seconds left.
Moritz Wagner, signed earlier in the week for the remainder of the season, posted a season-best 24 points in just his third game with his new squad. The 6-foot-11, 245-pounder, starting at power forward in place of the injured Chuma Okeke, shot 8-of-15 from the field and made four 3-pointers, including one that tied the game with 1:16 remaining. Born in Berlin, Germany, Wagner led the Michigan Wolverines to the national championship game in his final college season in 2018.
There’s a lot to like about R.J. Hampton, acquired from Denver along with Gary Harris and a future first round pick for Aaron Gordon at the trade deadline. He’s a blur in the open floor, has a quick first step off the dribble, is an improved outside shooter, and isn’t afraid of some contact when he attacks the basket. Just 20 years old, Hampton showed a little bit of each of those qualities on Saturday. He finished with a career-best 18 points and added seven rebounds and five assists.
Orlando’s turnovers and Memphis’ fast break points, many of which came off the Magic’s miscues, were the biggest factors in Friday’s outcome. On Saturday, the Magic made sure to take care of the ball. They committed just 11 turnovers, nine fewer than Friday.
Terrence Ross (back spasms), Okeke (sprained left ankle), James Ennis III (right calf soreness), Devin Cannady (right ankle; open dislocation), Michael Carter-Williams (sprained left ankle), Markelle Fultz (torn ACL, left knee), Jonathan Isaac (left knee rehabilitation) and Otto Porter Jr. (left foot pain) were all out for the Magic.
Quote of the Night
“Crunch time, I said this a few games ago, I want that ball. I want to go get it for my team. Whether that means making the right play to get it to someone else for them to get a bucket or that means going and taking and making a big shot. I just want to get that dub (win) for the team.” – Anthony
On Monday at 7 p.m., the Magic will visit a team, the Detroit Pistons, that is also building for the future. Detroit features an intriguing collection of young talent, including rookies Saddiq Bey, Isaiah Stewart and Killian Hayes. Among all players selected in the 2020 NBA Draft, Bey is third in points and Stewart is first in rebounds.