Sixers hang on to beat Magic 112-92

ORLANDO – The Orlando Magic are back at home after two much-needed wins on the road against Indiana and Washington.

Orlando, still in fourth place in the NBA Eastern Division, comes home to face the Philadelphia 76ers, who are without star center Joel Embiid.

Orlando, Florida, USA, December 27, 2023, Orlando Magic guard Jalen Suggs #4 rushes forward as De’Anthony Melton #8 trails behind at the Amway Center. (Photo Credit: Marty Jean-Louis)

Orlando had a slow start in the game, but Jalen Suggs was prepared to play. Suggs scored all 11 of Orlando’s starting points, helping to keep up with the Sixers, who were battling against one of the NBA’s toughest defenses.

The game also marked the return of longtime Magic center Mo Bamba. Bamba did what he does best, deterring opponents from scoring inside the paint on his watch. Bamba had 8 rebounds and one blocked shot in the first half.

Tyrese Maxey led the Sixers with 14 points in the first half, repeatedly making impossible floaters in the middle of the Magic’s bigs inside.

Late in the third, Patrick Beverly got called for a technical foul for complaining that Franz is working his way up. Beverly kept falling away from Franz and complaining to the ref. The ref finally gave him a T.

Orlando, Florida, USA, December 27, 2023, Philadelphia 76ers guard Patrick Beverly #22 attempt to score at the Amway Center. (Photo Credit: Marty Jean-Louis)

At the end of the third quarter, Orlando was down by nine points. They could keep up with the Sixers scoring for the most part but weren’t getting the necessary stops on the defensive end.

In the fourth quarter, the Sixers took over the game, outscoring the Magic 28-17, taking control of scoring in the paint over Orlando, and hitting consecutive shots from deep as the Magic continued to struggle.

Orlando already had 14 turnovers by the end of the third quarter and added two more. Philly’s shooters came out to play, with Tobias Harris contributing to his final total of 22 points, De’Anthony Melton quietly reaching the same, and Tyrese Maxey continuing to challenge Orlando, scoring the game-high 23 points.

Though the overall bench scoring was similar, Orlando with 22 and Philly with 26, the 76ers outworked Orlando inside the paint, scoring 58 to the Magic’s 40 points.

Orlando, Florida, USA, December 27, 2023, Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris #12 attempt to score at the Amway Center. (Photo Credit: Marty Jean-Louis)

Orlando’s final 16 turnovers led to 15 Sixers points, which changed the final total to only a five-point difference.

Also, Sixers coach Nick Nurse was smart enough to put defensive specialist Patrick Beverly on Cole Anthony. Anthony, who is usually good for at least 10-15 points per game or more, was held to five points in the game. All of his points came in the first half.

The Magic will rest up before facing the New York Knicks on Friday, December 29th at the Kia Center.




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