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Wizards 98, Magic 93: Orlando can't match Washington's depth, legs

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Orlando's winning streak ended at two Saturday against a balanced Washington club.

Tobias Harris, Kris Humphries, and Evan Fournier
Tobias Harris, Kris Humphries, and Evan Fournier
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Playing their fourth game in five nights, the Orlando Magic fell flat in the nation's capital Saturday as the Washington Wizards ended their two-game winning streak by a 98-93 final.

Kris Humphries scored 16 points off the bench, making him one of three Wizards reserves to reach double-figures and tying him with Nenê for the team lead. Orlando held All-Star point guard John Wall in check, limiting him to 15 points on 6-of-17 shooting, but Wall had enough help to make it moot.

All five Magic starters scored in double-figures, with Tobias Harris efficient 19 leading the way. Harris added eight boards. In defeat, Nik Vučević tallied a 14-point, 10-rebound double-double. Making his first start of the season, Victor Oladipo shot 7-of-18 for 18 points, with seven boards and seven assists.

Apart from Harris and Channing Frye, Orlando struggled from the jump, looking as bit as tired as one might have guessed they are based on their schedule to date. The well-rested Wizards limited the Magic to 28 percent shooting in the first quarter, including 2-of-7 in the restricted area, as Orlando struggled to convert from all over the floor. Harris and Frye had their perimeter games going early, but neither Oladipo nor Evan Fournier found success in the lane as the Wizards swarmed them, taking away their shooting and passing options.

And though the Wizards didn't dominate the game in the early going, they nonetheless managed a comfortable cushion on the strength of their defense. With his bench giving him solid minutes and Orlando showing no signs of coming to life. Washington coach Randy Wittman relied on his reserves for much of the second period, to great effect: Humphries' effort on the glass and in the paint helped him score six points to lead all Wizards, and the home team extended its advantage by three points. At times it appeared Orlando's best option was to have someone drive the lane and throw something off the rim: Vučević scored four of his Magic-best six in the second period simply by grabbing offensive rebounds and putting them back in, benefitting from his man's leaving him to contest a shot by a driving Orlando player. All told, the Wizards held a 48-38 advantage at intermission and showed no signs of relinquishing it.

Orlando responded in the second half, looking a bit more cohesive in the early going. An 8-0 scoring run brought it to within four at the 7:42 mark, and a three-point play by Evan Fournier moments later cut the deficit to one. The Magic moved the ball better here, and Oladipo's drives yielded open shots for his teammates on the perimeter.

Washington helped the Magic's cause too, settling for jumpers early in the clock; Marcin Gortat and Nenê were the primary offenders here.

Wittman relied on his bench again in the fourth, and again the reserves rewarded his faith in them. Humphries, Otto Porter, and Rasual Butler sank deuce after deuce as Orlando conceded the mid-range game. Porter's step-back two in traffic at the 5:10 mark put Washington up 11 points, one shy of its game-high.

The Magic had a final rally in them, closing to within five on Fournier's breakway layup with less than a minute to go. Appropriately, it was Humphries who came through for Washington on its next possession, scoring a reverse layup off a Wall feed.

Down five with 24 seconds remaining, Orlando had to play the foul game. It did so, but couldn't pull off the upset.

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