ORLANDO, FL – The Orlando Magic ended a 9-game losing streak with a thrilling overtime win over the Los Angeles Clippers.
Paolo Banchero scored 10 of his 23 points in overtime, including six from the free throw line in the final seven seconds, and the Magic overcame an 18-point deficit to win the game in overtime.
Orlando, who last won a game on November 18th over the Chicago Bulls, had been struggling late in several games to match the intensity of its opponents, while keeping up in scoring for three of the four quarters. thy were also playing catch upon many a well.
Orlando managed to stay with the Clippers in the second half, after trading quarters with them at the beginning of the game.
The Clippers opened the game but racing away from Orlando in the first quarter by going ahead 32-14. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard combined for 17 points in the first quarter and the Clippers made five 3-pointers in the first seven minutes to race to a 23-6 lead, while the Magic contributed 12 points to the total with 7 turnovers.
Orlando came roaring back in the second quarter, outscoring the clippers 26-17, and making things more even, whole having only two turnovers in the second.
The Magic were down 15 with two minutes and change left in the third quarter before going on a 25-4 run to go up six early in the fourth.
Bol Bol and Mo Wagner each scored 20 points for the Magic, while on Wagner also grabbed 13 rebounds. Wagner had an emphatic dunk during the overtime period that shook the rafters in the Amway Center.
Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley was pleased with his teams effort.
“(The comeback) really is big for this group,” coach Jamah Mosley said. “They communicated in the huddles, which I love, when we were down. Not getting too far down. Staying in the moment. They understood exactly what they have do in these moments.”
Franz Wagner scored seven points during a 17-1 run that gave Orlando an 85-79 lead before George and Batum re-entered the game with 8:36 remaining in the fourth, launching an 18-4 run by the Clippers.
The much needed win as just what the Magic needed after the beginning of their season was marred with constant injuries and adjustments.
Orlando continues their homestead on Friday as the Toronto Raptors come to town. LA is headed down to Miami to case the Heat in a back to back.