The Orlando Magic (14-24) hosted the Memphis Grizzlies (24-13) in their final home game of the three-game stand. After a dominant performance against the Oklahoma City Thunder (16-22), the Magic entered this game looking to replicate their high level of dominance against the Grizzlies. While Jalen Suggs and Franz Wagner returned to the lineup for the Magic, Moritz Wagner (suspension), Bol Bol (health and safety protocols), Jonathan Isaac (knee), and Chuma Okeke (knee). Entering the game the Grizzlies were missing Desmond Bane (toe), Brandon Clarke (hip), and Danny Green (knee) from their lineup.
From the tip, the Grizzlies held the lead over the Magic, but this all changed at the 6:03 mark as the Magic began to display the dominance shown against the Thunder. A set of free throws from Gary Harris started what would become an 11-0 Magic run that lasted two minutes and twenty-six seconds. This gave the Magic a 15-9 lead, but shortly after attaining it the Grizzlies responded with an 8-0 run over a minute and nine seconds to steal the lead from the Magic. The first quarter ended with the Grizzlies holding the lead 22-20 over the Magic. The second quarter began with the Grizzlies padding their lead with six points, giving them an eight-point lead early on. After an exchange of buckets over the next minute and thirty-six seconds, the Grizzlies began to pull away with the lead at the 8:52 mark. The Grizzlies went on a 13-6 run giving them a 55-37 point lead with 2:26 left in the first half. By the end of the second quarter, the Grizzlies led the Magic 65-43, shooting 51% from the field, 38% from deep, and 56% from the free-throw line. The Magic entered halftime shooting 35% from the field, 15% from deep, and 91% from the free-throw line. The Grizzlies won the first half by capitalizing on turnovers by the Magic and outrebounding them 30-21. While the Magic started off dominant, some of it seemed to wear off, hurting their chances of winning.
The second half began with the Magic attempting to cut into the Grizzlies’ lead, but their efforts fell short. The Grizzlies went on an 8-0 run over forty-one seconds to continue padding their lead. After some back-and-forth throughout the quarter, the Magic went on an 8-0 run of their own over forty-nine seconds bringing the Grizzlies’ lead down to thirteen points. The quarter ended with the Grizzlies holding a 92-78 point lead over the Magic. The Magic came into the fourth with a vengeance, slowly but surely cutting down the Grizzlies’ lead in an attempt to sneak back into the game. The Magic went on two separate 7-0 runs throughout the quarter, bringing them back into the game. By the 2:27 mark, the Magic had cut the Grizzlies’ lead down to 118-111, but this was not enough as the Grizzlies would go on to win 123-115. The Grizzlies ended their night shooting 52.17% from the field, 33.33% from deep, and 65.22% from the free-throw line. The Magic ended their night shooting 46.43% from the field, 30.56% from deep, and 86.67% from the free-throw line.
Paolo Banchero led his team with 30 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 assists shooting 50% for the night. He was heavily supported by Franz Wagner (22 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists), Wendell Carter Jr. (18 points and 7 rebounds), and Terrence Ross (14 points and 2 rebounds), with other players providing ample support.
Ja Morant led his team with 32 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists shooting 61.9% for the night. He was heavily supported by Jaren Jackson Jr. (31 points and 10 rebounds), Ziaire Williams (16 points), Tyus Jones (12 points, 3 rebounds, 8 assists), and Dillon Brooks (11 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists).
The Orlando Magic (14-25) will begin their road trip facing off against the Golden State Warriors (20-19). In their first matchup of the season, the Magic stole the win from the Warriors 130-129. The Warriors currently average 117.5 points per game while allowing their opponent to score 117.6 points per game. This will be a very interesting matchup, especially with the Warriors currently missing star guard Stephen Curry, amongst other players. While the loss to the Grizzlies was a tough one, the Magic have displayed that they are very capable of dominating the floor as a unit. The Magic currently sit at 13th in the Eastern Conference, but there is still time to turn things around.
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