After a successful 3-3 West coast road trip, the Orlando Magic returned home to host John Wall led Washington Wizards. Despite leading for much of the second half, the Magic fell short at the buzzer, thanks to a tip by Bradley Beal, 91-89.
In their first game at home in two weeks, the Magic came out a little rough around the edges. While they made some shots, their offense was stagnant at times, and they seemed to be relying on attempted post ups for Kyle O`Quinn for baskets. Washington's offense on the other hand was very fluid, with the ball moving at an extremely high rate, notching assists on nine of their 11 made field goals. Bradley Beal, who missed the previous two matchups between the two division rivals this season, led all scorers with seven. Evan Fournier extended his streak of games with a three-pointer made to 29, as he scored five early points to lead the Magic.
The early part of the second quarter quickly turned into the Elfrid Payton show. After Dewayne Dedmon made a pair of free throws, the rookie point guard reeled off eight of the Magic's next 12 points, helping keep them in the game. Payton's stretch, coupled with a couple of buzzer beating jumpers by Channing Frye helped the Magic stay within striking distance. Beal did not score in the second quarter, but continued to lead the way for the Wizards with seven. Payton and Tobias Harris led all scorers with eight in the half, as the Magic trailed 45-44 after 24 minutes.
Out of halftime, the game turned into the Victor Oladipo show. Oladipo scored nine points early in the quarter to keep the Magic away from their dreaded third quarter collapse. Payton came in and gave them more good minutes in the second half of the quarter, and the offense as a whole was clicking on all cylinders. Orlando shot a blistering 12-of-17 in the quarter, including 4-of-5 from deep to turn the tides and grab an eight point lead heading into the fourth quarter. Oladipo and Harris led all Magic men with 13, while Wall had 13 of his own for the Wizards.
Holding a lead, the Magic's offense became stagnant, with possessions ending in isolations more often than not. Orlando's struggles on that end, coupled with the Wizards ability to hit shots, let the visitors back into the game late. Down three with 36 seconds left, the Wizards cut the lead to one, thanks to a driving layup by their leader Wall. With a chance to push the lead back up to three, the Magic went to Oladipo, who missed a wild shot. Willie Green committed a loose ball foul on Rasual Butler to give the veteran shooting guard a chance to give the Wizards a lead. Butler split the pair, giving the Magic a chance to win it with a last second shot. Oladipo's chance to win came up short, and the Wizards got the ball with .8 seconds left, just enough time for a lob. Andre Miller threw a perfect pass to Beal, who tipped it in to take home the victory.
Washington was led by Wall, who finished with a game high 21 points and 11 assists. Nene, who came back from injury, scored 12 off the bench, while Kris Humphries scored 11 in his spot in the starting lineup. Marcin Gortat rounded out Wizards in double figures, finishing with 10.
Despite his missed shot at the end, Oladipo led the way for the Magic with 17. Tobias Harris scored 15, while Elfrid Payton scored 12 off the bench. Kyle O`Quinn and Channing Frye rounded out the Magic men in double figures, finishing with 10 each.