ORLANDO- The Orlando Magic faced the Boston Celtics with confidence after coming off of their third win in a row, but were easily taken down in a 132-96 thrashing.
The Celtics wasted no time in taking on the Magic, with a flurry of points by Kemba Walker, and, though struggling to score at first, former Magic forward Evan Fournier, who finished the game with 18 points..
Walker led all scorers with 32 points, followed by Jason Tatum, who woke up in the second half to score 27.
The Magic were led by newcomer Moritz “Mo” Wagner with 20 points, as well as Dwayne Bacon with 20 points, including three straight 3-point shots in the 2nd quarter. Mo Bama finished 20 points, and 15 rebounds as well as 4 blocked shots.
RJ Hampton’s confidence continues to grow. He matched his career high with 18 points, grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds and dished out five assists.
The Magic struggled against the Celtics when it came to turnovers, committing 19 turnovers for 24 points, as well as giving up 8 steals and having 9 shots blocked.
For Evan Fournier, it’s his first trip back to Orlando since being traded before the trade deadline. He was touched by a thank you video played after the first quarter. Fournier, who played for the Magic from 2014-2021, waved to the crowd and seemed like he couldn’t stop smiling. But that didn’t stop him from coming up with some of his patented spot up three’s against his former team.
“It was great to be back in the arena and see all of the people. I really love it here. ” Said Fournier. “And I’m glad we won by 30!”
Indeed, early in the game, the Magic were behind 21-6, though they managed to climb back to eventually tie. the Celtics seemed to struggle to score in the first quarter, mostly due to missed opportunities Jason Tatum, who only scored 2 points in the first quarter, came back to score 13 in the second quarter, and finished with aforementioned 27 points.
Cole Anthony collided with teammate Mo Bamba in the first quarter, as they attempted to complete a handoff, sending Anthony to the floor. Anthony eventually was able to walk off the court to the locker room. He returned to the game later in the quarter and finished the game.
This game was also the return of Steve Clifford after being away from the team for health and safety protocols due to positive COVID-19 tests after the teams game against Atlanta in late April. He said that he felt no symptoms and figured that it was because he had been vaccinated.
Next up, the Magic head to Charlotte to face the surprising Charlotte Hornets on Friday May 7th, and then return to Orlando to face the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday, May the 9th for Orlando’s final home game of the year.