After two emotional wins last week during NBA Rivals week, the Philadelphia 76ers dropped a tough one at home on Monday night to the visiting Orlando Magic, 119-109. it snapped their seven-game winning streak. The Sixers, 32-17, are now third in the Eastern Conference Standings. Half a game back of the idle Milwaukee Bucks and three behind the conference-leading Boston Celtics.
Here’s what stood out:
- The 76ers jumped on the Magic from the outset. They scored the first eight points of the game. And they kept their foot on the gas early to eventually lead by as much as 21 points in the first half. But Orlando cut that to 10 by halftime.
- As much praise as Philadelphia should get for their start, the head-scratching has to begin after they let their guard down and Orlando took the momentum from them leading to the ten-point loss.
- We already knew that this year’s #1 overall pick Paolo Banchero was a crazy talent. But he put it on full display in this game. After scoring just two points on 1 of 5 shooting in the opening frame, the Duke product scored 27 the rest of the way and did so all over the floor to help pace them to the win. The Rookie of the Year favorite also grabbed nine rebounds.
- Matisse Thybulle showed up offensively, matching his usual defensive output. Thybulle scored 10 points to lead the bench unit, including 2 for 3 from the three-point line. The two-time All-Defensive Second Team member also collected two steals in a little over 11 minutes of play.
- Mo Wagner can be an irritant when on the floor, but he plays hard and make things difficult for the opponent. The elder Wagner brother scored 22 on 6 of 11 shooting from the floor and made all 10 of his free throw attempts. He can play a role on my team any day. His younger brother Franz finished with 19 in the win.
These two teams will face off on Wednesday for the fourth and final matchup of the season and game two of this two-game mini-series. The Sixers have won two of the three games already played.