Connect with us

Orlando Magic

Magic Fall In Second Leg Of Los Angeles Back-to-Back

Cedric Donaldson

Published

on

©sportsclubflorida.com | Kevyn Bryant II
Photo Credit: sportsclubflorida.com

The Orlando Magic entered Sunday night’s game on a high after taking down the Clippers on the road. That game had seen Orlando staging a furious fourth-quarter rally, with Markelle Fultz and Wendell Carter Jr. closing things out in the final stages. Winning both legs of a back-to-back at Crypto.com Arena (formerly the Staples Center) however, is never easy. And on Sunday night, the Magic didn’t have quite enough left in the tank to beat a Lakers team desperately scrambling for a playoff spot. 

The game opened with strong competitive balance. Paolo Banchero got off to a quick start for the Magic, and had matched the Lakers at 8 points apiece half way through the first quarter (with Orlando leading 15-8). From there however, the Lakers’ role players stepped up, with Austin Reaves, Troy Brown Jr., and Dennis Schroder all contributing to what would become a narrow, 28-25 advantage for LA at the first quarter break. 

The second quarter would see the Lakers expand their lead as the Magic went cold from the field. Orlando shot just 11 of 24 for the quarter, and failed to convert a single three. Meanwhile, continued production from Reaves was supplemented by a strong showing by some of the Lakers’ recent acquisitions. Trade deadline pickups D’Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley had a relatively easy time shaking free of the Orlando guards, hitting a trio of threes between them to help LA expand its edge. The Lakers led 59-49 at the half. 

The fireworks came out early in the second half, with both teams starting hot from three. For the Magic, Gary Harris and Carter Jr. both connected from deep in the opening minute, with Fultz adding a triple just a short time later. During this same stretch however, Brown Jr. and Russell hit threes for the Lakers, helping LA to maintain its lead. From there, the quarter took on a back-and-forth pattern, with the Magic periodically inching closer only for the Lakers to cushion their lead. Orlando ultimately proved resilient though, and used a 10-4 run (complete with two Cole Anthony three-pointers) to trim the margin to 84-81 heading into the fourth quarter. 

Advertisement

But for a brief Lakers surge in the opening minutes, that three-point margin more or less held for the bulk of the final quarter. With just under six minutes to play however, a midrange jumper from Carter Jr. cut the Lakers’ lead to 93-91, setting up an exciting finish. Austin Reaves quickly responded for LA with an and-one jumper of his own, after which the teams began trading buckets. A Banchero jumper brought the Magic to within 1 at 99-98; Russell answered with a finish at the basket to boost the Lakers to a 101-98 advantage; then another three from Anthony tied the game with just 2:39 to play. 

The Magic at this point had put themselves in position to gut out an LA sweep. It was Austin Reaves, however –– a sort of budding star in his role for the Lakers –– who played closer. Doing most of his damage at the foul line (including after an ill-timed technical foul on Banchero), Reaves managed 10 points in the game’s final 1:33. Despite the best efforts of Franz Wagner to play the hero for Orlando, this proved too much for the Magic to keep up with, and the Lakers came out on top by a score of 111-105. 

Splitting two away games in Los Angeles is not a bad outcome as this Orlando team continues to gain valuable experience. Even so, the Magic will be kicking themselves for letting this one slip away. 

The Magic next return home to face the Wizards on Tuesday night. 

 

Advertisement

 

Orlando Magic

Orlando Magic Linked to Career 38.5 3PT Shooter Player

Avatar

Published

on

Malik Beasley

The Orlando Magic are one of the teams expected to pursue Malik Beasley once he hits the free agency market this July.

The Magic, who have already been linked to several incoming free agents with respectable shooting acumen, are reportedly among the teams showing some level of interest in Beasley.

Other teams linked to the sweet-shooting veterans are the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors.

“Houston has identified floor spacing and shooting as an area of need this offseason privately and publicly and have an interest in veteran sharpshooter Malik Beasley,” a source close to the situation told the New York Times.

Advertisement

Beasley started 77 games for the Milwaukee Bucks this past season, converting 41.3 percent of his shots from 3-point distance. He’s a career 38.5 percent three-point shooter.

Continue Reading

Orlando Magic

Magic Have Interest in Sweet-Shooting Point Guard

Avatar

Published

on

D'Angelo Russell

The Orlando Magic has reportedly shown interest in potential free agent guard D’Angelo Russell, the Athletic reported on Wednesday, May 21.

Russell, who can opt out of his $18.7 million player option with the Los Angeles Lakers, is expected to draw interest from teams looking to shore up their shooting in their backcourt.

The 28-year-old point guard averaged 18.0 points, 3.1 rebounds and 6.3 assists in 32.7 minutes per game while shooting 45.6 FG% and 41.5 3PT% during the 2023-24 season.

His numbers dipped in the playoffs as he averaged 14.2 points on 38.4 FG% and 31.8 3PT% in the five-game series with the Denver Nuggets.

Advertisement

The Magic direly need some reliable shooting in their lineup for next season after shooting 35.2% from deep in the regular-season.

Aside from Russell, the Magic are also rumored as a potential destination for Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Orlando Magic

Orlando Magic Linked to Big-Time Scorer in Free Agency

According to reputable NBA insider Ramona Shelburne, the Magic are one of the teams eyeing the service of NBA All-Star Paul George.

Avatar

Published

on

Paul George

The offseason officially started for the Orlando Magic seconds after the final buzzer of their 94-106 Game 7 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday. According to reputable NBA insider Ramona Shelburne, the Magic are one of the teams eyeing incoming free agent Paul George of the Los Angeles Clippers.

“There’s two teams that are paying very close attention to Paul George: the Orlando Magic and the Philadelphia 76ers, because both of them have the money to throw at him and need a wing just like him, a veteran guy,” Shelburne said on “the Brian Windhorst & the Hoops Collective” podcast on May 1.

Sportrac projected the Magic to have a practical cap space of $19 million, but their maximum possible cap space could balloon to as high as $58 million if they forego their team options on Jonathan Isaac, Joe Ingles, and Moritz Wagner.

Despite turning 34 once the free agency window opens, George is expected to be a hot commodity on the market because of his reputation as a flat-out scorer and above-average wing defender. He’ll be looking for his final max-level deal of at least $45 million per year before he enters the twilight years of his career.

George averaged 22.6 points on 47.1 FG%, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game during the regular season with the Clippers. His scoring production dipped a bit during the six-game series against the Mavericks, putting up 19.5 points on 41.1 FG% and 36.7 3PT%.

NBA experts expect the Magic to bring over either a legitimate shooter or a scorer who will help address the lack of shooting on their roster. George, a career 38.5 3PT% shooter, would be a solid addition to a resurging team like the Magic.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Trending