Familiar faces often produce familiar results.
From the opening tap, J.J. Redick reminded the Magic what they gave up when they traded him in 2012. Redick knocked down six of his eight three-pointers in the first half en route to a game high 29 for the hosts.
Searching for some accountability with his players, Magic head coach Frank Vogel was quick to pull players if they missed assignments or made other poor plays. Elfrid Payton and Aaron Gordon were the first two victims, with Payton getting yanked because he failed to box out T.J. McConnell, who started in place of the injured Ben Simmons, and Gordon for taking two poor shots, early in the shot clock.
For the reeling Magic, finding some kind of accountability seemed like one of, if not the most important thing to get them out of their prolonged funk.
In the search for accountability, the Magic defense still struggled, watching the Sixers knock down three-pointer after three-pointer in the first half to take control after the Magic raced out to an early eight point lead. As the shots continued to fall for the Sixers, the ones that fell early for the Magic, kept coming up short, clanking off the rim, and just not falling for the Magic.
A barrage of three’s from Redick, and one from McConnell as the first half wound down, gave the Sixers a commanding 15 point lead, 70-55, at the half.
Quickly out of halftime, the Magic offense came back to life, cutting the Sixer lead to eight, prompting a Brett Brown timeout. Philadelphia answered, pushing the lead back up to 13.
Evan Fournier, who went scoreless in the opening half, began finding his shot again in the third, scoring nine of his 13 in the third quarter.
Joel Embiid made the Magic pay for their inability to consistently guard him, showing off an array of moves in the post, knocked down jump shots, and wrecked other havoc, leading to an 18 point, 14 rebound and six assist night.
Despite some sloppy play on offense — the Magic had six turnovers in the third quarter after just one in the first half — the defense found some rhythm. That was until the end of the quarter, when the Sixers used another run, this one 13-5, to once again take a commanding 16-point lead into the final quarter.
Despite having seven players finish in double figures, led by 22 points, nine assists and eight rebounds from Payton, Philadelphia’s continued hot shooting — they made 16 three-pointers — was too much for the Magic to overcome.
Dario Saric added 21, with McConnell flirting with a triple-double, finishing with 15 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds.
Nikola Vucevic notched another double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds.
The Magic wrap up their four game road trip in Indiana on Monday night against the Victor Oladipo led Pacers.