Magic Go Cold in Rematch Against 76ers

Josh Cohen
Digital News Manager

The Lead

Markelle Fultz led six Orlando players in double figures with 18 points, Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner each scored 13, and Jalen Suggs tallied 11 with a career-high five steals, however the Magic struggled to get into a rhythm on the offensive end all night in Wednesday’s 105-94 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. 

Key Stretch

After a Suggs 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter pulled the Magic within one, the Sixers reclaimed momentum with an 11-2 run. Shake Milton started the flurry with a 3-pointer; James Harden buried a step-back jumper shortly later; and Tyrese Maxey, who hadn’t made a shot from the floor to this point, knocked down a corner 3-pointer to extend Philly’s lead to 10 with 7:38 left. 

Interesting Note

The Magic made just 15.4 percent of their 39 3-point attempts. That’s the second worst 3-point percentage by the Magic in a game when they’ve taken at least 30 shots from beyond the arc. Their worst 3-point shooting performance with 30-plus attempts was on Nov. 10, 2021 when they shot just 12.1 percent on 33 tries against the Brooklyn Nets. 

Key Stats

Aligning with the poor 3-point shooting, the Magic dished out only 12 assists. The Sixers also scored seven more fast break points – a big difference from Monday’s meeting when Orlando had 14 more than Philly. 

Quote of the Day

"We were resilient in our win. Going down by 21 points and being able to fight back and get a win the other night. Like you said earlier, we just didn’t make shots. I think we did a really good job defensively. That’s a positive we can walk away with from this game. At the same time, we have to look at stepping into shots more comfortably. Getting better quality shots I feel like is a recipe we can move forward with in the next games coming up." - Wendell Carter Jr. on splitting the two games in Philadelphia

Injury Report

Chuma Okeke (left knee injury recovery) and Jonathan Isaac (left knee injury management) were out for the Magic. Everyone was available for the Sixers.

This Day in History

Wednesday’s game wasn’t the first time the Magic had been in Philadelphia on a Feb. 1. They were there in 2008 as well. That night, Hedo Turkoglu scored 23 points, including a pair of go-ahead free throws with 2.4 seconds remaining in Orlando’s victory. Rashard Lewis finished with 18 points, while Dwight Howard recorded 17 points and 14 rebounds. Andre Miller led the Sixers with 23 points and 11 assists. 

Rivals Report

Since Nov. 6, the Sixers have the league’s best record. For the season, they are fifth in offense and sixth in defense. Something hard to believe is that no matter what, at least one of Philadelphia, Boston, Milwaukee, Brooklyn, and Cleveland will be eliminated in the first round of the playoffs – and all five, it seems fair to say, are legitimate championship contenders. Maybe, the Sixers deserve to be considered the favorites at this point with how dominant they’ve been over the last couple months. 

Up Next

The Magic’s four-game road trip continues Friday when they take on the Timberwolves in Minnesota at 8 p.m. ET. These two squads last played on Nov. 16 at Amway Center, with the T-Wolves winning behind 35 points from Anthony Edwards and 30 from Karl-Anthony Towns. Bol Bol had one of his games of his career in that loss with 26 points and 12 rebounds, while Suggs, who was born and raised in Minnesota, scored 23 points. Towns has been out since late November with a calf injury and won’t be available against the Magic.