ORLANDO, FL – The Orlando Magic defeated the Detroit Pistons 128-102 at The Amway Center in front of a record crowd of 19,431 fans.
The Magic, who are mathematical holding on to the final playoff spot, face a injury ridden and young Pistons team that has lost 8 straight games.
Detroit came out for the game with physical play, which had Orlando on it’s heels at the very beginning of the game.
At about the 8:40 mark in the first quarter, the Magic had something click in them, and it was as if they remembered who they were.
Orlando then went on to dominate the first quarter scoring 34-29 over Detroit.
Orlando carried that momentum through the rest of the game and the Pistons were never really in it.
The Magic had eight players score in double figures, and Gary Harris came close to making it nine with eight points on the night.
The Magic blew out the pistons in the second quarter 19-15 and it was pretty much a wrap from their on.
Jalen Suggs lead the Magic with 18 points on the night, followed by Cole Anthony with 17, and Franz Wagner with 16 points.
Paolo Banchero and Wendell Carter Jr lead the Magic with 9 rebounds each.
This Orlando Magic team has won six of their last 8 games, with losses at the Memphis Grizzlies and a recent loss at home to the Miami Heat.
Tonight’s game was a long one. The first quarter was 37 minutes long alone. There were many flagrant foul checks by the refs, a 24-second clock malfunction where both baskets went black. the refs brought out a 24 second clock for on the floor and used it for one play.
There was some pushing around between Gorga Bitaze of the Magic and Jalen Darren, where there was grabbing after a rebound and both were grappled to each other with arms locked together.
“Man, you know todays was a long game” said Magic Guard Jaylen Suggs ” We started an hour earlier and are done at the same time as usual”
The Magic had a lot of fun in this game, especially Markelle Fultz.
Fultz had back to back emphatic blocks on the defensive end, and later took a free loose ball on a fast break to do a windmill dunk.
One interesting thing about tonight’s game was the return of former Magic guard RJ Hampton to the floor in Orlando.
Orlando released Hatton earlier in the season, and he found a new home with the Pistons.
“Man, that game was personal.” said Magic Guard Cole Anthony. “I saw RJ on the other side and we didn’t want top let him to get anything. He hit a jumper over me and I was so mad. That hurt, that hurt. I’m just glad that we can go win a game we’re supposed to win…against RJ Hampton. And Markelle did a windmill dunk.”
The Magic return to the floor at Amway on Tuesday in the first of two game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. These will be the final two home games of the 2022-23 season.