Wednesday night, the Orlando Magic flew into the Lone Star state for a matchup against the (9-21) Houston Rockets. The Magic were looking to get back on track and into the win column as the last outing ended in a heartbreaking loss to the (16-16) Atlanta Hawks. As for the Rockets they are currently on a 3 game losing streak in which they sought to snap as they beat the Magic (134-127) in Orlando earlier in the season. The Magic were without the usual bunch once again: Wendell Carter Jr.,Gary Harris, Jonathan Isaac, Jalen Suggs, and Chuma Okeke who just recently underwent an arthroscopic procedure on his left knee. As for the Rockets their inactives included: Garrison Matthews (illness) and Jae’sean Tate (ankle).
From the opening tip the Magic appeared to be sluggish in their offense as they struggled to find their rhythm. As a result, the Magic had found themselves down 14 points early on in the first quarter which had set the tone for the entire game. Throughout the game, they kept finding themselves digging out from underneath this hole. Overall, the Rockets were in the lead for more than 40 plus minutes with an advantage as large as 15 points in the third. The combined effort from the Wagner brothers, scoring 18 of the team’s 31 had shifted the momentum completely in favor for them. By the end of the third, the lead was squandered to a two point advantage for the Rockets.
The fourth quarter sang a similar tune to that of the third for the Magic as they were able to get their first lead of the night. The Magic were able to go on a 14-5 run led by Admiral Schofield and Cole Anthony (combined for 13 points during the run). From that point on, the Magic were able to hold onto their late lead as the Rockets tried coming up with a response of their own. Ultimately, the rematch between these two teams had the Magic winning(116-110) which evened the season series.
Franz Wagner led the way in scoring for Orlando with 25 points, Paolo Banchero with 23 points and 13 rebounds, and Cole Anthony with 15 points and 6 assists.
Kevin Porter Jr. had himself quite a night with 31 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists, Jalen Green chimed in with his 21 points and 8 rebounds, and Kenyon Martin Jr. had 18 points and 5 rebounds.
The Orlando Magic (12-21) will return back to the Amway Center from a successful road trip (3-1) for a matchup with the (10-20) San Antonio Spurs. On the season, the Spurs are currently averaging 110.3 points per game while giving up a league worst 119.5. Considering how well the Magic have been playing as of late (won 7 out of their last 8 games) this should be another win to the column. Although it is still early on in the season, It should be mentioned that with the Magic winning at a rapid rate of late there’s a possibility for a potential date in the play-in tournament as they are only 2.5 games shy of Toronto for the 10th seed.
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