PHILADELPHIA (October 2, 2018) – The Orlando Magic made their 2018 pre-season debut against the Philadelphia 76ers and came up short in a somewhat meaningless game 120-114.
The Magic got to work out it’s 2018 squad but had a major negative when second-year forward Jonathan Isaac sprained his right ankle 30 seconds into the second quarter and after just nine minutes of action. Isaac, the No. 6 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, was limited to just 27 games as a rookie because of various ankle injuries.
Isaac, who did not return to the bench area following the injury, started the night in impressive fashion by blocking a Dario Saric 3-pointer and running out to chase down an Aaron Gordon outlet pass for a dunk that was Orlando’s first points of the night.
The game was the first true professional action for Magic 2018’s No. 6 draft pick Mo Bama. Unfortunately he had to go up against friend and dominant center Joel Embid.
Forced to almost single-handedly try and slow down a center 39 pounds heavier and much more experienced than him, Bamba picked up four first-half fouls in his NBA debut on Monday night.
Bamba managed 12 points, three rebounds and two made 3-pointers in his NBA preseason debut. He was limited to just 17 minutes partly because of the foul trouble, but he converted a dunk over Embiid – his summer-time workout partner – in the second quarter of the game. He also showed off his shooting skills by confidently drilling a 3-point shot in each half.
Magic Veteran Nicola Vucevic managed a team high 20 points making nine of 17 shots in 23 minutes, however fellow veteran Evan Fournier missed 10 of his 11 shots and six of seven 3-point tries and scored just three points in 22 minutes.
Aaron Gordon, who inked a multi-year deal with the Magic in the offseason, did a lot of things well while contributing 10 points, seven rebounds, four assists and a blocked shot. Point guard D.J. Augustin had 12 points, six rebounds and three 3-pointers.
Embiid finished with 21 points and seven rebounds in 23 minutes to lead the Sixers, who were scheduled to depart after the game for China where they will face the Dallas Mavericks for two games.
The Magic will spend the next three days practicing, including holding an open practice session for fans on Tuesday (6 p.m.) at the Amway Center. Orlando plays next on Friday when it hosts Brazilian professional powerhouse Flamengo at the Amway Center.