Magic Unable to Keep Pace with Hot-Shooting Kings

Josh Cohen
Digital News Manager

The Lead

Paolo Banchero recorded 17 points, Markelle Fultz and Franz Wagner each scored 16, Wendell Carter Jr. tallied 15 and Jalen Suggs had 14, but the Orlando Magic struggled to keep up with the fast-paced and hot-shooting Sacramento Kings in Monday’s 136-111 loss at Golden 1 Center. 

Interesting Note

The Kings set a new franchise record for most 3-pointers made in a game with 23 of them. Their previous high was 22 (Nov. 5, 2021 against the Charlotte Hornets). Ironically, Sacramento was the place where the Magic made a then NBA-record 23 threes on Jan. 13, 2009. That was in the Kings’ old arena. Orlando made 23 triples for a second time in last year’s regular season finale against the Miami Heat. 

Key Stretch

After the Magic went on an 11-2 run in the second quarter to pull within six, the Kings closed the half with a 22-8 run to go into intermission up 20. Harrison Barnes, Sacramento’s second-oldest player, scored eight of his season-high 30 points during that stretch, while Keegan Murray, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2022 draft, drilled three of his five 3-pointers in that time. 

Key Stat

Aside from their scorching hot 3-point shooting, the Kings’ ball movement was superb. They matched a season high with 39 assists. It was the 11th time this season they racked up at least 30 dimes.

Injury/Inactive Report

Although he didn’t make the trip to Sacramento, Bol Bol cleared health and safety protocols and will rejoin the team in Portland. Chuma Okeke (left knee), and Jonathan Isaac (left knee injury recovery) were out for the Magic. Also not with the team were R.J. Hampton (G League – On Assignment) and Kevon Harris (G League – two-way). Everyone was healthy for the Kings. The only two players unavailable for them were their two-way contract players (Keon Ellis and Neemias Queta). 

Quote of the Day

“He’s a young man that asked to go play. He’s always talking about just wanting to hoop. That’s a great opportunity that we have – that relationship and that connection with Lakeland – that he’s able to go down there and play with those guys, and it’s a familiar scene.” – Magic Head Coach Jamahl Mosley on Hampton, who has scored a combined 68 points in two games during his current G League stint 

This Day in History

In back-to-back years during the Dwight Howard/Stan Van Gundy era, the Magic played the Hawks at home on Jan. 9. Both were victories as well. In 2009, Hedo Turkoglu led six Magic players in double figures with 21 points and J.J. Redick had 17 in a blowout victory over the Hawks. The following year – in another lopsided win – Matt Barnes led seven Orlando players in double figures with 18 points and Redick once again scored 17. 

Rivals Report

Could this be the year the Kings end their playoff drought? Entering Monday’s action, they sat in fifth place in the Western Conference, but were only two games ahead of the team in 11th place. Is there a move they can make at the trade deadline to bolster their chances? Whether they make a deal or not, down the stretch of the season is when we will really find out what both De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis are made of. Can either – or even both – prove they belong in a tier one talent conversation? If either play at that level, Sacramento will have a good chance to secure a postseason spot for the first time since 2006.   

Up Next

The Magic’s five-game West Coast road trip continues Tuesday when they square off against the Portland Trail Blazers at 10 p.m. ET. This will be the first of their two meetings this season. The Blazers come to Orlando on March 5. They split their two contests last year, with each side winning on the other team’s home floor. Portland is returning home after a disappointing 0-3 road trip, losing in Minnesota, Indiana, and Toronto. The two areas they struggle the most in are turnovers (15.8 per game) and protecting the paint (51.5 opponent paint points per game). Damian Lillard leads the team in points (27.3) and assists (7.2) per game, while Jusuf Nurkic is their leading rebounder with 10.1 boards per contest.