Magic’s Win Streak Snapped Despite Overcoming Late Double-Digit Deficit

Josh Cohen
Digital News Manager

The Lead

Markelle Fultz set a new season high in scoring with 24 points, Franz Wagner posted 19 points and Paolo Banchero recorded 18 points, but the Orlando Magic, despite erasing a late double-digit deficit, fell 126-125 to the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night to snap their six-game winning streak. 

Key Stretch

The Magic scored 13 unanswered points to take the lead after Trae Young drilled a 34-foot triple with 3:48 remaining in the fourth quarter. During that span, Franz Wagner made a breakaway layup after stealing the ball away from Dejounte Murray. 

Clutch Moments

To cap off that 13-0 run, Fultz made a go-ahead driving uncontested layup with 3.1 seconds remaining. The ball ended up in the hands of Murray on Atlanta’s final possession, and as he went up for a baseline jumper, he was fouled by Banchero with 1.1 seconds left. The 6-foot-5 guard, acquired in the offseason by Atlanta from San Antonio, knocked down both free throws. Even if he had made it, Banchero’s 3-point try to win it came off his hands just after the final horn. 

Key Stats

As you’d probably expect in a game that was decided in the final seconds, the Magic and Hawks were even or close to even in many categories, including turnovers (Hawks 10, Magic eight), steals (Magic eight, Hawks seven), 3-pointers made (both made 12), and assists (both had 29). Atlanta, however, dominated inside with 62 points in the paint. 

Quote of the Day

“It’s tough to lose a game like that, but we’re still good. Everybody is telling each other to keep our heads up. We still did a great job of fighting back and staying with it. It was a tough loss down the stretch…To fight like that and come down to the end, just have to get ready for the next one. We wanted this one tonight, but it was a little bit unfortunate. Got to get ready for the next one. It’s the NBA.” – Fultz

Injury Report

During Murray’s free throw that put Atlanta in front in the closing moments, Franz Wagner appeared to sprain his ankle as he got tangled up with John Collins going for the rebound in case of a miss. He did remain in the game, but did hobble back to the bench during the timeout before the last play. Gary Harris (right hamstring soreness), 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. Clint Capela (calf) was unavailable for the Hawks.

This Day in History

Monday was the second time in Magic history they had played in Atlanta on a Dec. 19. The other time was in 1992, when Dennis Scoot, who will soon be inducted into the Magic Hall of Fame, tallied 28 points and Scott Skiles filled up the stat sheet with 19 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists in Orlando’s victory over the Hawks. Stacy Augmon, who years later finished his career playing for the Magic, scored 18 points for Atlanta. 

Rivals Report

Shocking about the Hawks with Young running the show is that they rank 29thin 3-pointers made and 27th in 3-point percentage. Young, while playing well otherwise, has really struggled from beyond the arc. Entering Monday’s game, he was shooting just 28.8 percent, 10 percent lower than last season. Getting Bogdan Bogdanovic back from injury recently should help in the long run, but not having great floor spacers in their starting lineup at any position is a cause for concern. 

Up Next

The Magic will wrap up their four-game road trip on Wednesday when they take on the Houston Rockets at 8 p.m. The Rockets won the first meeting on Nov. 7 at Amway Center. Jalen Green erupted for 34 points, while Kenyon Martin Jr. scored 21 and Alperen Sengun had 20 points and 10 rebounds. Banchero led Orlando with 30 points, while Franz Wagner had 23 points and Terrence Ross scored 21.