A night after one of their biggest collapses in recent memory, the Orlando Magic continued their five game road trip in Philadelphia against the Joel Embiid led Sixers. After a shaky start, the Magic began shooting the lights out, crushing the Sixers in Philly, 105-88.
Early on, things were a train wreck for the Magic. After arriving in Philadelphia early Friday morning, the Magic offense looked sluggish, with the ball sticking and players forcing shots more often than not. As the quarter wore on, the Magic offense, and defense, found better flow, going on a 16-0 run to take a 10-point lead on the lowly Sixers. Thanks to an efficient 11 points from Aaron Gordon, and strong defense, the Magic found themselves up seven, 21-14.
After a sluggish first quarter overall, things began to get better for both sides in the second quarter. While there were pockets of poor play defensively, the Magic offense was much more fluid, finding better quality shots after forcing things for much of the first quarter. Jodie Meeks made his season debut after offseason foot surgery, knocking down a three-pointer in his short stint on the floor. Behind Gordon’s 15 —two off his season high of 17— the Magic carried an eight point lead, 50-42, into halftime.
Out of halftime, the two sides began exchanging runs, with the Magic going on a 10-0 run after Philadelphia cut the lead down to five. The hosts answered, going on a quick 7-0 run of their own, before getting run right back over by a 19-6 run by the Magic to conclude the quarter. The Magic continued to find better flow offensively after posting up Nikola Vucevic, with players moving without the ball and finding open spots and open looks. After three, the Magic held their third double-digit lead of the week heading into the fourth quarter up 21, 82-61.
With a 21-point lead heading into the fourth, the Magic just needed to avoid more stagnation and poor offensive execution to notch another win. That they were able to do, continuing to knock down shots from beyond the arc, and keeping the Sixers from mounting any serious comeback. The win, the Magic’s biggest of the season, puts them on the right track to finish their road trip with a winning record.
Gordon led the way for the Magic, finishing with 20 on the night, two off his career high. Serge Ibaka and Evan Fournier scored 16 apiece, despite Fournier’s struggles from the field. Jeff Green added 16 of his own off the bench, with Nikola Vucevic finishing with a 12-point, 11-rebound double-double. Jodie Meeks finished in double figures in his Magic debut, finishing with 10.
Joel Embiid led all scorers, finishing with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Fellow big man Jahlil Okafor joined Embiid in double figures with 14.