Magic Come Up Big Down the Stretch to Take Down Pelicans

Josh Cohen
Digital News Manager

The Lead

Franz Wagner registered 30 points – his third 30-plus-point performance of the season and fourth of his career – Cole Anthony scored 22, and Gary Harris had 15, as the Orlando Magic, in their first game since returning from a five-game West Coast road trip, overcame an early 14-point deficit to defeat the New Orleans Pelicans 123-110 on Friday night at Amway Center. 

Key Stretch

Down three going into the fourth quarter, the Magic used a 19-6 run to seize control. Orlando’s bench scored all but two of those points during that stretch. Terrence Ross knocked down both of his 3-pointers in that time, while Bol Bol had a layup and a dunk and Anthony made a floater and a pair of free throws. 

Key Stats

The Magic’s reserves outscored New Orleans’ bench 56-39. Orlando had an all-around efficient offensive night, making 52 percent of their shots overall, 50 percent of their threes (15-of-30), and 88.2 percent of their free throws (30-of-34). A strength of Orlando’s all season, they held the Pelicans to just 28.6 percent shooting from 3-point distance. 

In the News

Jonathan Isaac played in his third game for the Lakeland Magic on Thursday night and in 21 minutes off the bench tallied 18 points, six rebounds and five assists in a victory over the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Caleb Houstan (14 points) and Magic two-way contract player Kevon Harris (26 points) also played in that game. 

Injury Report

Chuma Okeke (knee) was out for the Magic, while Zion Williamson (hamstring), Brandon Ingram (toe), and E.J. Liddell (knee) were unavailable for the Pelicans.

Quote of the Day

“If I see something I feel like I can use, I will. Sometimes when you play against them, you are worried about stopping them more than you are about stealing their moves. If I’m watching a game on TV and I see a move that I feel I can put into my game – whether it’s offense or defense -- I try to implement it, not right away but you just keep it in the back of your head and maybe try it out.” – Paolo Banchero on learning from watching the game’s best players 

This Day in History

The Magic have played two overtime games on Jan. 20 in franchise history. One of them was in 2001, when Tracy McGrady erupted for 38 points and Mike Miller scored 17 in Orlando’s victory over the San Antonio Spurs. Tim Duncan posted 29 points and 17 rebounds and David Robinson had 28 points and 17 boards for the Spurs. Terry Porter missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer in OT. 

Rivals Report

We basically know what the Nuggets and Grizzlies – the top two teams in the West – are. Denver has a potent offense, while Memphis has a stifling defense. Another explosive offensive team are the Kings, the third-place team in the West entering Friday’s action. The team of mystery, however, are the Pelicans – simply because Williamson, Ingram and C.J. McCollum have barely been on the court together. And yet despite that, New Orleans is in fourth place and in the top 10 in both offense and defense. 

Up Next

The Magic flew out right after Friday’s game to the nation’s capital, where they will take on the Washington Wizards on Saturday at 7 p.m. This will be the second of four meetings between the two teams, with the Wizards winning the first one and the other two coming in March. Kristaps Porzingis led Washington with 30 points and 13 rebounds in that first clash, while Kyle Kuzma scored 23 points. Franz Wagner led Orlando with 28 points, while Banchero had 21.