ORLANDO, FL – The Orlando Magic (25-35) defeated the Detroit Piston (15-45) 108-106 in a back and forth battle to the final seconds of the game.
Franz Wagner lead the Magic with 21 points in the game, bu it was a key put back by Wendell Carter Jr in the final seconds of the game that sealed the win.
Detroit, holders of the 15ht and last place spot in the NBA Eastern conference, put up a fight in the game, going back and forth with the lead for most of the game. The Pistons managed to stay in the game with superior 3-point shooting. They shot 50% from deep.
For Orlando, it was hustle and belief that kept them going, as they continue to build up their character to prepare for a spot in the playoffs, which after this win level them 4 games back from the final spot.
“It’s all business” Said Carter Jr.” We’re trying to get into the playoffs and change the narrative of the Orlando Magic. That’s what we’re locked into and we’re all on the same page.”
All of the Magic starters scored in double digits, as well as two from the second group, Cole Anthony (15) ad Jonathan Isaac (10). Isaac’s minutes increased, going for 16:29 in the first half, which will continue to grow and his defensive presence will be felt more and more in these final games of the season.
Orlando dominated in the paint, scoring 44 points against Detroit’s 26, though overall rebounds are close 46-45 Orlando.
Rookie Jaden Ivey carried the Pistons when it came to scoring with 25 points on the night, while Alec Burks continued his success against Orlando with 21 points.
Detroit was killed but turnovers, committing 21 turnovers, giving the Magic 21 points.
In the fourth quarter, Orlando pulled out to a 14 point lead. Detroit pulled back to tie, and the teams went back and forth to the end.
On the game’s final play, with the teams tied a 106-106, Paolo Banchero drove into the paint an went to the basket. The ball bounced off of the rim, but Carter Jr. was Johnny on the spot with the follow through to tap it in for the winning score.
He was saluted with the team’s patented bottle water dump during his after game interview with the Magic media courtside.
The Magic face off against the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night, in a game of playoff implications. Indiana is in the number 12 spot, ahead of the Magic, who sit in 13th.