WASHINGTON – Entering into the new decade, Orlando handled their business by beating Washington by 21 points. However, the game ended in bittersweet fashion for the Magic.
Orlando cruised right passed Washington, but in process, lost what many consider their best defender, Jonathan Isaac.
Isaac knocked the ball loose from Wizards guard Bradley Beal, and was attempting to convert the steal into points. As he went up for the layup, he made contact with Beal which resulted in a hyperextended left knee for the Magic forward. Isaac was on the floor for several minutes with his hands on his head obviously in pain.
Coming into tonight’s game, Isaac is 2nd in the league in blocks (2.5), and tied for 11th in steals (1.58). Isaac has made strides this season in comparison to last season.
“You see the work that he’s putting in is paying off”, said Wizards head coach Scott Brooks pregame.
Isaac was seen walking and bending his knee after Wednesday’s game. He is set to have an MRI on Thursday which the team expects no major damage to be revealed. There is a chance Isaac won’t miss time.
“We heard it’s not too bad. Some positive things that we heard”, said Nikola Vucevic.
Over the last couple weeks DJ Augustin has played great basketball for the Magic off the bench. Tonight he continued that trend, scoring a team high 25 points and adding 9 assists and 2 steals.
“It was just a great win overall for us”, said veteran point guard DJ Augustin, just before getting a water bath from his teammates.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Nikola Vucevic again posted a double-double of 20 points, 12 rebounds going 3-6 from beyond the arc.
Before tonight’s game against Washington, over the past 2 games specifically, Fultz went a combined 2-17 from field.
Coach Clifford commented on his play saying he was expecting him to play better against the Wizards and Fultz delivered.
Tonight he got back on track with a stat line of 16 points, 4 rebounds and 8 assists. This includes a special play that came in the 3rd quarter with 5:33 left. Fultz stole the ball and immediately found Evan Fournier for his first dunk of the season via a behind the back dime.
Orlando simply played great tonight, shooting 47% from the field, 38% from three-point land and won the rebounding battle 52-46.
Defensively, Orlando held Washington to 38% shooting from the field and 29% from range.
The Magic brought in the New Year and the new decade on a good note with a great team win on the road.
Next up, Orlando looks to get their first home win of the new decade against Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat who are currently 3rd in the Eastern Conference at 24-9.