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Markelle Fultz and Cole Anthony Return, But Magic Fall to Hawks

Josh Cohen
Digital News Manager

The Lead

In his season debut, Markelle Fultz played 17 minutes as a starter and had eight points, one rebound, and four assists, while Cole Anthony returned from his 16-game absence and finished with 11 points. The Orlando Magic, however, were unable to slow down Trae Young, Dejounte Murray and the rest of the Atlanta Hawks in Wednesday’s 125-108 loss at Amway Center.

Top Performers

Franz Wagner scored 15 of his 22 points in the second half, while Paolo Banchero posted 20 points for his 11th 20-plus-point performance in his rookie year so far. Terrence Ross, back after missing two of the last three games with an illness, had 12 points off the bench, while two-way contract player Kevon Harris made all four of his shot attempts for nine points. Moe Wagner filled up the stat sheet with nine points, six rebounds and eight assists.

Key Stats

The Hawks totaled 20 second-chance points and 62 points in the paint. They outrebounded the Magic by 16 and committed six fewer turnovers. 

Interesting Note

Moe Wagner dished out a career-best eight assists, three more than his previous career high. His six boards matched a season high. 

Quote of the Day

“I feel amazing. I think it’s going to take time for the guys to get used to how I play again, and just being ready to play that fast-paced game…The energy I bring when I come out there, just trying to put constant pressure on the defense and get our team to play the same way. I feel like my rhythm felt pretty good. I didn’t feel like I missed a beat really.” - Fultz

Injury Report

Mo Bamba (back spasms), Wendell Carter Jr. (right plantar fascia strain), Jalen Suggs (right ankle soreness), Chuma Okeke (left knee soreness), and Jonathan Isaac (left knee rehabilitation) were out for the Magic. Gary Harris played 16 minutes before exiting with right hamstring soreness. Missing for the Hawks were Bogdan Bogdanovic (knee), Justin Holiday (health and safety protocols), and Jalen Johnson (ankle). Both De’Andre Hunter (thigh) and John Collins (ankle) exited early with injuries. 

This Day in History

Wednesday marked the second time the Hawks were in town on a Nov. 30. In 2002, Tracy McGrady tallied 28 points and Mike Miller scored 22 in the Magic’s victory at the team’s old arena, then named the TD Waterhouse Centre. Orlando’s starting lineup that night featured some big names in T-Mac, Miller, Grant Hill, Shawn Kemp, and Pat Garrity. Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Glenn Robinson were on the Hawks then and each scored 13 points that night. 

Rivals Report

Surprising about the Hawks with Young running the show is that their defense is way ahead of their offense. They are 12th in defense and 22nd in offense. The biggest of their problems is their 3-point shooting. They rank 29th in threes made. They also just aren’t getting enough from their bench. With that said, the Hawks should feel good about how Young and Murray are meshing in the backcourt. Atlanta gave up three future first round picks for Murray. Only time will tell if that transaction pays off for them or if it will make their future more complicated. 

Up Next

The Magic head back out on the road for a two-game trip, starting with a visit to Cleveland where they will clash with the Cavaliers on Friday at 7 p.m. This is the Magic’s second of four meetings this season against the Cavs. The first of them on Oct. 26 favored Cleveland. Evan Mobley posted 20 points and Jarrett Allen had 18 points and 16 rebounds for the victors, while for Orlando, Banchero scored 29 points and Franz Wagner had 22.