Looking to go into Thanksgiving filled up with a victory, the Orlando Magic welcomed the Phoenix Suns to the Amway Center. The Magic were unable to find any rhythm on either end, falling to the Suns 92-85.
Out of the gates, the Magic offense struggled, with no player or ball movement hurting the team. Their inability to find consistent quality shots saw them shoot a woeful 30.8 percent in the quarter. The defense, which has seen vast improvements over the last few weeks, struggled as well, getting beat off the dribble, with the help coming late more often than not. After one, the lifeless Magic found themselves still in the game, trailing the Suns by just two, 24-22.
Needing the usual lift from their bench, the Magic were left searching, with only D.J. Augustin giving them a real lift thanks to a pair of made three-pointers. Much like the first quarter, the Magic failed to move the ball with any consistency, resulting in stagnant offense and poor shots on many possessions. The defense also struggled, failing to rotate out to open Suns players, allowing the second worst three-point shooting team in the league to make six total first half threes. After the Suns went up by 12, the Magic finished the quarter on a 12-2 run to cut the lead back down to two, 46-44 at the half.
Out of halftime, the Magic kept the momentum they were building going, pushing their run up to as much as 22-8. The Magic showed better signs of life early in the quarter, but ran into their customary third quarter lull, allowing the Suns to come back and take the lead. Despite the Suns answering the Magic’s strong start to the quarter, the Magic were able to find a spark thanks to Aaron Gordon late in the quarter to cut the lead back down to two. After three, the Suns led the Magic 68-66, with momentum still somewhat in their favor.
With the game still up for grabs, the Magic looked poised to have a chance to win yet another close one. Their continued inconsistencies on the offensive end had other thoughts, however, with the Magic struggling to get anything going the entire quarter. Orlando’s defense followed suite, failing to consistently string stops together. Phoenix, on the tail end of a road trip, found enough offense to hold off the Magic.
Phoenix used a balanced effort to knock off the Magic, led by Alex Len’s 17-point, 12-rebound double-double. Eric Bledsoe finished with 16 points, with backcourt mate Brandon Knight scoring 12. Devin Booker finished with 11, with P.J Tucker, and Marquese Chriss each added 10 as well.
Evan Fournier led all scorers on the night, finishing with 25. Nikola Vucevic finished with a 21-point, 13-rebound double-double. Augustin led all bench members, finishing with 12.