Looking for a much needed win, the Orlando Magic welcomed the Philadelphia 76ers to the Amway Center for a mid-week showdown. The Magic struggled in the second half, falling to the improving Sixers, 96-87.
The host Magic jumped all over the Sixers early, taking an early 10 point lead. Behind strong, dominating play from Elfrid Payton, who led all scored with nine in the quarter, the Magic, who came in losers of seven of the previous eight, appeared poised to run away and hide. However, after Payton came out, things began falling apart for the Magic. Their ball movement stopped, with players trying to do everything themselves throughout the finish of the quarter. As a result, Philadelphia finished the quarter on a 13-1 run, taking a 23-21 lead into the second quarter.
Much like the first quarter, the Magic got going early in the second, taking the lead back for much of the quarter. With the reserves in, Mario Hezonja put together a strong stretch, scoring nine points in the quarter, many of which came at the rim on the fastbreak, where the Magic scored seven points in the quarter. However, their inability to hit open shots came back to bite them once again, with Philadelphia charging late in the quarter to take a small 47-46 lead at the half.
Out of halftime, the Magic completely fell apart, forcing Scott Skiles to go to a line change to try to find some life for his bunch. Skiles dug deep, going to Keith Appling-Devyn Marble-Aaron Gordon-Jason Smith and Dewayne Dedmon, hoping to find some energy for his sluggish bunch. While Skiles turned back to many of his starters later in the quarter, it didn't help, with the Sixers continuing to take advantage of the sluggish Magic bunch. Despite a pair of late quarter three's, the Magic still found themselves down 81-71.
After poor fundamentals cost them dearly in the third, things didn't get better in the fourth for the Magic. They continued to struggle with Philadelphia's athleticism, trailing the team with the leagues worst record by 6-10 points for nearly the entire quarter. After the Magic cut the lead down to four, a three by Isaiah Cannon all but sealed the victory for the Sixers.
Jahlil Okafor led the way for the Sixers, finishing the night with a 20. Hollis Thompson led three Sixers who finished in double figures off the bench with 17, with Cannon and Jerami Grant adding 15 and 12 respectively. Ish Smith rounded out Sixers in double figures, finishing with 13 of his own.
Elfrid Payton did much of the damage for the Magic, finishing with 21 points and 10 assists on the night. Nikola Vucevic added 15 points and 10 rebounds, with Tobias Harris finishing the night with 13.