Mo Bamba’s Career Night Comes in Magic Loss to 76ers

Josh Cohen
Digital News Manager

The Lead

Blocking shots and making 3-pointers are Mo Bamba’s specialties. On Wednesday in Philadelphia, he showcased both those attributes with three blocks and seven triples as part of his career-best 32-point performance. Problem was his counterpart, Joel Embiid, was even more unstoppable. Soon to be named a five-time NBA All-Star, Embiid exploded for a career-matching-high 50 points, the league’s fifth 50-plus-point game this season, in the Sixers’ 123-110 victory over the Orlando Magic.

Key Stretch

The Magic went from up 10 at halftime to trailing just four minutes into the third quarter. All five Sixers starters scored consecutively during that stretch. Embiid made a jumper, Tobias Harris converted on a layup, Furkan Korkmaz slammed home a dunk, and Seth Curry and Tyrese Maxey each buried 3-pointers.

Top Performers

Bamba, whose previous scoring high was 22, made 12 of his 15 floor shots, including seven of eight from beyond the arc, before fouling out midway through the fourth quarter. Jalen Suggs, playing in his fourth game since returning from a fractured right thumb, filled up the box score with 14 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Chuma Okeke tied his season high with 18 points, while Cole Anthony recorded 13 points, four rebounds and eight dimes.

Quote of the Night

“I credit it all to my teammates. They were able to find me in different situations – whether it was pindowns, or trail threes, just different types of action. They really just embraced it. They embraced me. Without them, I don’t think I would have a career high.” – Bamba on his career best scoring performance

Injury Report

Wendell Carter Jr. (hamstring), Michael Carter-Williams (left ankle), Markelle Fultz (left knee), Jonathan Isaac (left knee), and E’Twaun Moore (left knee sprain) were out for Orlando. R.J. Hampton went back to the locker room with 4:52 left in the game with an apparent left knee injury. He along with Terrence Ross, who only played in the first half because of right knee soreness, will be evaluated upon the team’s return to Orlando. Ben Simmons (personal reasons), Shake Milton (back), Danny Green (hip), and Matisse Thybulle (shoulder) were unavailable for Philadelphia.

This Day in History

One of Shaquille O’Neal’s most dominant performances in a Magic uniform came on Jan. 19, 1994 when he tallied 40 points, 19 rebounds and four blocks in a win over the Clippers. Penny Hardaway, just a rookie then, filled up the stat sheet as well with 21 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and four steals, while Nick Anderson had 20 points and 13 rebounds. Ron Harper led the Clippers with 21 points and Mark Aguirre, who was in his final season in the NBA, scored 20.

Rivals Report

Will the Sixers trade Simmons or not by the Feb. 10 deadline? That’s the biggest question in Philly. Adding to the intrigue, Harris, who previously played for the Magic, has been in trade rumors as well. Despite so much uncertainty, the Sixers have played as well as anyone could have projected. They have won 11 of their last 14 games; they are the best in the league at limiting opponent points off turnovers; Embiid is once again playing at an MVP-worthy level; supporting cast members Curry and Maxey are legitimate Most Improved Player award candidates; and Doc Rivers deserves to be in the Coach of the Year discussion.

Up Next

The Magic start a five-game homestand on Friday when they host the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday at 7 p.m. This will be the first of six straight road contests for the Lakers, who currently are 22-22 and in eighth place in the Western Conference, much lower than where most thought they’d be at this stage of the season. The Lakers won the first meeting between these two squads on Dec. 12 in L.A. behind LeBron James’ 30-point triple-double.