Undermanned Magic Go Cold in Loss to Wizards

Josh Cohen
Digital News Manager

The Lead

Franz Wagner posted 28 points and eight assists, Paolo Banchero scored 21 points and Markelle Fultz tallied 12 points, seven rebounds and six assists, but the Orlando Magic, with only eight available players because of a mix of suspensions and injuries, couldn’t keep up with the suddenly hot Washington Wizards in Friday’s 119-100 loss at Amway Center.

Key Stretch

A 16-0 Orlando run that extended from the first quarter to the second and temporarily put the Magic in front was followed by a 16-2 Wizards run. Kristaps Porzingis scored seven of his game-high 30 points during that mid second-quarter span, while Kyle Kuzma, Rui Hachimura and Delon Wright also made floor shots. 

Key Stats

For the second straight game, the Orlando was ice cold from 3-point range, while its opponent was red hot. Orlando connected on just five of its 27 attempts from beyond the arc, while Washington hit 15 of its 35 tries. Another big factor was the free throw disparity. The Wizards took 25 foul shots, while the Magic attempted just 16. Quite amazing because of the final score differential, but Washington took 25 fewer floor shots than Orlando, and that was largely because of how frequently it turned the ball over (26). 

In the News

The NBA announced Thursday night that Detroit guard Killian Hayes was suspended three games, Orlando center Moe Wagner two games, and Detroit guard Hamidou Diallo one game for their roles in Wednesday’s altercation. Eight other Magic players were each suspended one game for leaving the bench during the scuffle. Cole Anthony, R.J. Hampton, Mo Bamba, Gary Harris, and Wendell Carter Jr. served their suspension Friday against the Wizards, while Franz Wagner, Admiral Schofield, and Kevon Harris will serve theirs Wednesday against the Thunder. 

Injury Report

In addition to the suspended players, Jalen Suggs (right ankle soreness), Chuma Okeke (left knee surgery), and Jonathan Isaac (left knee injury recovery) were out for the Magic. Bradley Beal (hamstring) and Taj Gibson (groin) were unavailable for the Wizards.

This Day in History

On Dec. 30, 1994, Shaquille O’Neal recorded 38 points and Penny Hardaway posted 36 points and 10 assists, as the Magic defeated the L.A. Clippers in an overtime thriller. Loy Vaught led the Clippers with 21 points, while Pooh Richardson filled up the box score with 18 points, 11 assists and eight steals. 

Rivals Report

Will the Wizards be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline? Or perhaps they just stand pat and wait until the summer to retool their roster? A little over a week ago after losing for the 13th time in 14 games, it felt like a makeover was coming. But now, with wins in five of their last six games, maybe that won’t be the case. 

Up Next

The Magic will have a few days to rest and practice before stepping back on the Amway Center parquet floor on Wednesday against the Oklahoma City Thunder at 7 p.m. These two teams squared off in OKC on Nov. 1, with the Thunder prevailing behind 34 points from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and 16 from Aleksej Pokusevski. Carter led the Magic with a career-matching-high 30 points, while Franz Wagner scored 20 points.