ORLANDO, FL – The Orlando Magic (6-20) defeated the Toronto Raptors 113-109 on a night of stellar play by forward Franz Wagner, who dropped 34 points , including a clutch cutback with 30.2 seconds left to break a tie in the game.
The Magic, who just ended a 9-game losing streak with an overtime win over the Los Angeles Clippers, played like a team with renewed energy and purpose.
The return of point guard Markelle Fultz from a. pre-season injury has the Magic playing with more confidence as Fultz pushes them to ratchet up the energy and push against opponents.
The addition of number one draft pick Paolo Banchero has also added to Orlando’s firepower. Banchero scored 23 points on the night, and became one of the few NBA rookie to score 20+ points in their first 15 games. the last two players to accomplish this were Zion Williamson and Michael Jordan.
Pascal Siakam had 36 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for Toronto. Gary Trent Jr. added 20 points and Fred VanVleet had 19.
Wagner scored 14 of Orlando’s points in a little over three minutes to give Orlando a 14 point lead in the first half.
Later, Toronto’s Gary Trent ent 5 for 5 from 3-point range to bring Toronto back in the game, but Banchero scored seven straight points to give Orlando a 67-63 lead at the half.
Wagner continued to to on a scoring tear to bring Orlando up to a 88-68 lead midway in the third quarter, but Siakam took over the Toronto offense in the fourth to bring things back to an 108-108 tie on OG Anunoby’s two free throws with 1:58 remaining.
Wagner’s put back was the only score after that point, plus tow clutch free throws by Banchero to seal the win for Orlando.
Key points of ply for Orlando tis season have been turnovers and points in the paint. Orlando still gave the Raptors 20 points on 20 turnovers, but dominated in the paint the 50 points in the paint vs 40 for Toronto.
Orlando also out rebounded the Raptors 43-33, even snagging 40 defensive rebounds, lead by Mo Bamba with 13 rebounds, 12 on the defensive end.
And Sunday, they do it all again, as the Magic face the Raptors again at Amway Center.