Game Preview: Sixers vs Magic
The final game of a four-game homestand for the 76ers tonight, looking to avenge a tough loss on Monday night to the same opponent – the visiting Magic.
The Sixers led by as much as 21 points in the game on Monday night versus the Magic. It appeared as if Philadelphia was well on their way to picking up their eighth win a row. But Orlando had other ides for how the game would eventually play out. The visitors overcame that 21-point deficit, which is a season best, to win by ten, 119-109. The Magic made their comeback with a 42-28 third quarter to take a 94-90 lead into the final frame. The 76ers were able to tie the score at 99 and from then on, Orlando was able to keep them at just enough of a distance to complete the comeback for the win.
Joel Embiid led all in two categories by scoring 30 points and collected 11 rebounds, also handing out five assists with the only blemish being a high turnover night with six. James Harden and Tobias Harris each tallied 17 points as Harden added eight rebounds and six assists; Harris grabbed six boards. Reserve swingman Matisse Thybulle was the only other Sixers player to score in double-digits with 10, including making 2 of 3 from behind the three-point line and swiping two steals. A nice positive to take away from the game if the offensive production can be on display for the two-time All-Defensive second-teamer.
De’Anthony Melton, Tyrese Maxey and Montrezl Harrell scored eight apiece for Philly. As a team, the 76ers shot 47 percent from the field – 40 for 85, 11 of 30 from beyond and 18 for 23 from the free-throw line. The Magic made six more foul shots than the Sixers which isn’t normally a common theme with the opponents getting to the charity stripe more than them. 19 turnovers also played against Philadelphia in this one allowing for extra possessions for Orlando.
The Magic were paced by standout rookie Paolo Banchero with 29 points as he really got comfortable in the game after scoring just two points in the opening quarter while shooting 1 for 5 from the floor. He also grabbed nine rebounds to lead the team in that category along with starting center Wendell Carter Jr on the evening. Mo Wagner came off the bench to provide a huge spark for head coach Jamahl Mosley’s team. The older Wagner brother scored 22 off the bench, including some huge plays inside with his aggressive style.
Mo was also a perfect 10 for 10 from the foul line, helping his team get into the bonus with just under eight minutes to play in the fourth. The Magic were 12 for 14 in the final frame. Younger brother Franz, also had himself a good night in the win as he dropped 19 with six rebounds and three assists. Former Sixer Markelle Fultz played in a different uniform for the first time since he left a few seasons ago and dropped off a game-high 10 assists to go with 12 points and another game-best of four steals.
For the team, the Magic won the points in the paint battle, 54-50; second chance points, 22-8 and fastbreak points, 28-14.
The key for tonight is simple — get up on this team and don’t let them back in it. Period.