Markelle Fultz Starts, Jalen Suggs Returns in Magic’s Victory Over Cavs

Josh Cohen
Digital News Manager

The Lead

Markelle Fultz, making his first start of the season, posted 16 points, two rebounds and six assists, Mo Bamba recorded 21 points and 12 rebounds and Jalen Suggs, back after missing the last 10 games with an ankle sprain, had four points and two assists, as the Orlando Magic hung on for a 120-115 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night at Amway Center.

Clutch Moments

Ignas Brazdeikis, one of eight Magic players to score in double figures with a season-high 20 points, connected on a floater with 28.5 seconds left to put Orlando up five. After Darius Garland drilled a 3-pointer on Cleveland’s ensuing possession, R.J. Hampton buried a pair of game-sealing free throws with 10.6 seconds remaining.

Interesting Stat

Bamba made all five of his 3-pointers in the first quarter. It’s the second time this season he drilled five triples in a quarter, also doing so in the second period of Orlando’s Jan. 19 game at Philadelphia. He’s one of only eight players in Magic history to knock down five threes in a quarter and the only one to do it twice.

Injury Report

Franz Wagner’s return to the lineup following a one-game absence due to a sprained left ankle was cut short after spraining his other ankle seven minutes into Tuesday’s game. Cole Anthony (left toe), Wendell Carter Jr. (left wrist), Jonathan Isaac (left knee), Admiral Schofield (knee) and Bol Bol (foot) were out for Orlando. Evan Mobley (ankle), Jarrett Allen (finger), Dean Wade (knee) and Collin Sexton (knee) were unavailable for Cleveland.

This Day in History

During their late-season playoff push in 2019, the Magic put up 149 points, their third most in franchise history, in a blowout victory over the Atlanta Hawks on April 5, 2019. Nikola Vucevic, Evan Fournier and Terrence Ross each scored 25 points, while Aaron Gordon filled up the box score with 10 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Trae Young led the Hawks with 22 points.

Rivals Report

Even if they make the playoffs, nobody expects the Cavs to have much of a chance at knocking off any of the higher-seeded Eastern Conference teams in the opening round. The fact that they are even in this position says plenty about how far they’ve come in a short period of time, however. Going from being a bottom five defensive team last season to top five this year speaks volumes about the direction they are headed.

Quote of the Night

“We’ve talked about during the backside of this being able to look at different combinations, different guys out there together. Now, this is one of those opportunities where you have Franz out there, Jalen out there, Markelle out there – just with different guys and different combinations, what that will look like moving forward.” – Magic Head Coach Jamahl Mosley

Up Next

The Magic’s last road game of the season will take place Thursday at 7 p.m. against the Charlotte Hornets. While they’ve already secured a play-in tournament spot, Charlotte is hoping to jump to eighth in the standings, which would give them two cracks at qualifying for the playoffs. Entering Tuesday’s game against the Heat, the Hornets had won eight of their last 11 games.