ORLANDO, FL – It was as if the Orlando Magic defense went on the NBA All-Star break before the game even started as they were beaten by the Atlanta Hawks 130-109 at the Amway Center.
Hawk sharp shooter Tre Young cruised to an easy 22 points, scoring 18 of them in the first half as he shot 4 for 4 from 3-point land.
“They were too comfortable” said both Helen Suggs and Cole Anthony in separate post game press conferences. We’ve got to get our defense started earlier, they were jut too comfortable.” said Suggs.
The Hawks comfort led to them having a 20+ point lead, extending it to as many as 32 points late in the game. Orlando managed to do their typical battle back to get back into the game, but the stops just didn’t come.
Atlanta shot 56% from deep, keeping them way ahead of the struggling Magic.
Cale Anthony managed to score 23 points with 5 assists and 7 rebounds, as he and Suggs battled Young on the defensive end to slow down his shooting spree.
Young had an easy night and played only 25 minutes, leaving the scoring to Bogdan Bogdanovic, who scored 23 points himself, keeping Atlanta’s scoring goin in the second half. Kevin Huerter also kept the scoring going with 15 points, Danilo Gallinari also added 11, and De’Andre Hunter added 14 points.
Anthony led the Magic in scoring, Jalen Suggs added 19, Franz Wagner scored 12, and Wendell Carter Jr and Mo Bamba added 10 and 11. There was very little scoring help from the bench.
The defense was just ineffective in the fort half, and, as usual, Orlando tried to battle back from their mistakes but could not make up for the deficit.
Cole Anthony, Jalen Suggs, and Franz Wagner will all participate in the 2022 NBA Rising Starts game this weekend. Cole Anthony will also be a part of the dunking contest on All-Star Saturday night.
When Pressed for hints, all he would give is that “We might bring Greg out there” meaning his father, Greg Anthony.
Should be an interesting weekend.
The Magic return to the Amway Center court on February 25th against the Houston Rockets.