Looking to build momentum off of their last two performances, the Orlando Magic welcomed the division rival Washington Wizards to the Amway Center. Despite coming in off of two strong performances, the Magic reverted back to their old tendencies, getting trounced by the Wizards 115-98.
Despite not having All-Star guard John Wall, the Wizards came out firing on all cylinders early. Washington whipped the ball around the court from the start, notching ten first quarter assists, and 18 for the opening half. The high level of ball movement from the Wizards stretched the Magic’s defense out, and led to high quality looks left and right, leading to a blistering 57.5 percent from the field in the half.
After trailing by as many as 11 early, the Magic second unit gave them a huge spark in the second quarter. Led by Mario Hezonja’s eight points, the second unit brought defensive intensity the Magic’s starters lacked, storming back to take brief lead of their own. That energy and focus was short lived, with Washington finishing the opening half on a 10-0 run to take a nine point lead, 56-47, into halftime.
Out of halftime, the all too familiar third quarter collapse once again reared it’s ugly head against the Magic. From the start of the quarter, the Magic had no energy, especially on the defensive end, getting beat play after play by the hot Wizards. Frank Vogel tried to spark his Magic bunch with an early wholesale change, but was unable to get a better effort from his second unit. Washington pushed their lead to as many as 24 in the quarter, and all but put away the lifeless Magic.
Trailing by 18 going into the fourth, the Magic’s chances were all but done. Much like the third quarter, the Magic had no life or sense of urgency on either end, and got run out of the building more and more by the red hot Wizards.
All five Washington starters finished in double figures, led by Otto Porter Jr’s 20. Tomas Satoransky scored a career-high 19, and All-Star Bradley Beal flirted with a triple-double, finishing with 18 points, eight assists and eight rebounds.
Jonathon Simmons and Mario Hezonja led the Magic with 15 on the night. Elfrid Payton scored 14, with Evan Fournier shooting a woeful 3-12 en route to 11 points.