The Sixers take down the Magic 124-109 As Orlando still works on rotation

ORLANDO – The Orlando Magic (22-20) lost to the Philadelphia 76ers (27-13) 127-109 at a sold out Kia Center on Friday night.

The Magic have lost four of their last five entering the opener of a three-game home stand on Friday. They dropped a 106-104 decision to the Hawks on Wednesday to conclude a four-game road trip. The 76ers to their third consecutive win, a 126-121 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday.

Sixers center Joel Embid dominated the game, scoring 36 points, followed by the speedy Tyrese Maxey who scored 32 points.

Orlando, Florida, USA, January 19, 2024, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid #21 attempt to make a basket in the first half at the Amway Center. (Photo Credit: Marty Jean-Louis)

Orlando’s leading scorer was Wendell Carter, Jr., who came off of the bench to score 25 points with 11 rebounds.

The Magic are in a point where they are carefully bringing back a roster full of key players coming off of injuries, while still trying to manage a winning lineup.

Magic Head Coach Jamahl Mosley talked about the returning player’s situation.

“Well as you see it and that’s the part about these guys all coming back from injury at different times.” Said Mosley “You’re trying to make sure you maneuver it the right way. So, you don’t press their minutes too high. But then it’s trying to realize how they can respond to it. It’s going to be a process of us feeling that out. The different lineups, the different guys that we’ll put out there just so they can feel and understand how they’re playing with different lineups and rotations.” 

Orlando started Caleb Houstan, Paolo Banchero, Goga Bitadze, Chuma Okeke, and Jalen Suggs. Houston was ineffective in the game, though then needed him to add some shooting in the absence of the injured Franz Wagner.

Okeke, a defensive player primarily, added eight points, Bitadze battled to try to keep Embid at bay, scored only two points, leaving the Sixers to concentrate on shutting down Banchero (14 points) and Suggs (16 points)

Sixers opened up to a 10 to four lead, Magic work it back to a 13-13 tie. there was a lot of sloppy play by the Sixers, who were called for over and back.

Orlando, Florida, USA, January 19, 2024, Orlando Magic guard Markelle Fultz #20 attempt to score as Joel Embiid #21 attempt to block the shot at the Amway Center. (Photo Credit: Marty Jean-Louis)

This gives the Magic bench left over, with Wendell Carter Jr, Jonathan Isaac, and Markelle Fultz working their way back from injuries, plus Joe Ingles and Cole Anthony on the bench as well.

Isaac brought high energy to the floor with his play, which offsets the lack of speed of Ingles, but Ingles, on the other hand has save, a good shot, and is a sharp passer. Isaac harassed Embid and was effective when on the floor.

Joel Embiid flexed his muscle and kiss to help Philly build a 10 point lead late in the second quarter. The Magic Managed to battle back to a 68-60 halftime score, just two points under the Sixers.

Wendell Carter Jr lead the Magic with 13 points in the first half, while Embiid dominated the game with 28 points in the first half.

Philadelphia opened the third quarter, taking the score up to 73 – 60, with scoring from Maxie, and Kelly Oubre, as well as Embiid.

Orlando, Florida, USA, January 19, 2024, Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey #0 attempt to score at the Amway Center. (Photo Credit: Marty Jean-Louis)

Orlando took advantage of some Philly misses and managed to pick up the score to make it 73-69, with makes by Suggs, and Banchero.

Philly regrouped and went back to what was working earlier, punishing the Magic with Embid both inside and in the mid range. The ref’s even helped him out with a phantom trip call that gave Bitadze his fourth foul with six minutes left in the third quarter.

Sloppy play by the Magic, and poor shooting plus the addition of Embiid’s dominance, the Sixers built their lead to 89-76 by the end of the third quarter.

At the end of the third, Orlando had made 13 turnovers that have lead to 17 Sixers points. by the end of the game, Orlando had 16 turnovers that lead to 21 points for the Sixers.

Goga Bitadze was on the bench with four fouls, and Wendell Carter Jr was playing with four fouls.

Magic Head Coach Jamahl Mosley brought in Moritz Wagner and kept Isaac on the floor, to sub out Carter Jr, but Philadlephia kept making mid range shots with Tyrese Maxey, who was up to 27 points by the mid third quarter.

By the mid fourth quarter, the Sixers built their lead up to 22 points over the Magic, and it was over.




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