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Wizards 105 Magic 99: Magic fail to get over hump against Wizards

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The Wizards dominated much of the game, taking home their 12th straight over the Magic.

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Coming in losers of 11 straight against the Washington Wizards, the Orlando Magic were hoping to write the ship against a team that's constantly been a thorn in their side. Yet, the Magic were once again unable to overcome the pesky Wizards, falling 105-99. The Magic came in losers of four of their last five, but had some momentum after knocking off the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night.

The Magic trailed pretty much the entire game, as the Wizards aggressive defense caught them off guard and had them confused on offense. Too many possessions involved pinging the ball around to no end, with poor shot attempts coming on many of their possessions. They started the game off extremely careless as well, as they accumulated six turnovers in the first quarter against a team that specializes in scoring off of those opportunities.

The second half wasn’t much better, as the lead ballooned to as many as 17 and the Magic could not get over the hump. While they came close a few times and cut the lead to as little as five, the Wizards kept burying 3's to extend the lead in a matter of seconds. The Wizards point guards, whether it was John Wall, who had 24 points and 10 assists on 10/17 shooting, or Ramon Sessions, were penetrating the Orlando defense all night, forcing them to collapse and inexplicably leave shooters open all night.

The Wizards were 13/23 from the 3 point line, with three of those coming from Wall and four coming from Jared Dudley, who was inexplicably left open several times. The off ball defense by the wings was also unsatisfactory, as they were beat backdoor on countless times, leaving Orlando's big men to attempt to step up and stop the penetration.

Nikola Vucevic lead the way in scoring with 23 points on 10/17 shooting along with nine rebounds and carried the team on his back for most of the second half, despite being pushed around physically early by Marcin Gortat. Channing Frye was 5/6 from the field, but struggled on the defensive end against a more agile Dudley, leaving him open on a countless number of possessions. Aaron Gordon had 10 points and 10 rebounds in 29 minutes and was a +4, the highest of any Magic player who didn’t just play in garbage time.

Orlando is now 20-18 on the season and have fallen behind Boston for the 8th seed and are neck and neck with several teams in the East, a conference which has had quite a bit of parity this year. They have lost five of their last six and have an extremely difficult schedule ahead as 13 of the next 15 teams they face have records .500 and above. Across 14 games this season, the Magic are 3-11 against teams with a winning record.

The good news is that they have four days off until they have to play Toronto on Thursday in London. The time off comes at an opportune time, with injuries and constant struggles coming forward. Nonetheless, the Magic need to have a sense of urgency with their challenge upcoming schedule.