ORLANDO, FL – The Orlando Magic lost to the Philadelphia 76ers 116-106 at the Amway Center on Wednesday night.
Cole Anthony, returning form an ankle injury, tried to will his young team to a win over one of the strongest team in the NBA Eastern Conference. Anthony scored 28 points and had 7 assists against Philly.
The high scorers of the game and most dominant player was Philadelphia Center Joel Embid, who led all scorers with 31 points. Embid also had help from Tobias Harris (22 points, 9 rebounds), and Seth Curry (20 points, 12 assists).
For Orlando, Mo Bamba fought for a season high 19 points and 8 rebounds, joined by Terrance Ross, who scored 18 points and 8 rebounds with almost 27 minutes on the floor.
Wendell Carter Jr had the last of helping to battle Embid, and scored 12 points with 10 rebounds, thought he fouled out in the fourth quarter.
Magic head coach Jamahl Mosely was still encouraged by the fight of his team. Even though the Magic are younger and without noted superstars, They continue to fight and refuse to let opponents get away with an easy win.
Cole Anthony said it best.
“We trust the process. This is the ugly part, where we make the mistakes and learn from them, and I feel blessed that awe get a chance to grow though this. It’s going to take some time, but we all look at the long term”
Embid, who just came off of a triple double against Houston two days ago, gave Orlando the most trouble because of his size and inside skills. Embid was held to 0 for 2 from deep and shot 12 for 22 in field goals. Embid did turn the ball over 6 times against the scrappy Orlando defense.
Embid also managed to rile the Sixers fans in attendance by walking down the floor, holding his arms up, drinking in the cheers from Philly fans. (it was disgusting for a Magic fan, but that’s why he is who he is.)
While Embid was on the bench, Andre Drummond managed to push around the smaller Magic players, using his size and big man skills, Drummond scored 12 points and grabbed 18 rebounds against the Magic in the paint. Bamba and Carter battled with both Embid and Drummond at certain points later in the game, driving up the fouls calls against Orlando, and eventually leading to Carter fouling out.
Cole Anthony took a spill in the third quarter after shooting a 3 point shot. He fell to the ground in pain, grabbing his left ankle. Anthony grimaced and slapped the court in frustration.
Anthony needed help getting up and heading to the bench, but was quickly able to walk on his own and headed to the locker room.
Anthony later returned to the bench, cheering on the team and never sitting.
He re-entered the room and finished the game, pushing the Magic the whole time on the floor.
Franz Wagner also had an injury, that had him furious with the referees. Wagner returned to the bench, but was visibly upset, then went to the locker room.
Wagner later returned to the bench, and got back in the game in the fourth quarter. Wagner scored 15 points with 6 rebounds in the game for Orlando.
The Magic next head to Detroit to face the Pistons, then back to Orlando on Sunday to face the Washington Wizards.