It’s been quite some time since we were able to say this: the Orlando Magic are 2-0.
The last time they opened the season with two victories, players like Glen Davis and Arron Afflalo and E’Twaun Moore and DeQuan Jones were in the starting lineup.
This time around it was players like Markelle Fultz and Terrence Ross and Nikola Vucevic (who also started that game back in 2012) who helped the Magic get off to a 2-0 start by defeating the Washington Wizards, 130-120.
Ross couldn’t miss, Vucevic found his rhythm late, and Fultz was simply masterful in the fourth...
Markelle Fultz killing it in the clutch for the Magic pic.twitter.com/5VwJYUulLv— Shai Wobgeous-Alexander (@WorldWideWob) December 27, 2020
Ross finished with 25 points, shooting 9 of 14 from the field, including 3 of 6 from three. Vucevic scored 13 of his 22 points over the game’s final seven minutes as the Magic pulled away. Fultz had 21 points and 7 assists, eclipsing the 20-point plateau in just the second game of the season after doing so just six times all of last season.
Russell Westbrook got his triple-double in his Wizards home debut (15 points, 15 rebounds, 12 assists). Bradley Beal got his buckets with 39 points. But it was the Magic that got the victory, shooting 50.5% from the field, including 11 of 31 from three (35.5%).
A crucial three came from none other than Michael Carter-Williams, who hit from deep with 10:07 left in the fourth to even the score at 97. Cole Anthony later put the Magic in front by scoring back-to-back buckets - a tip and a drive - to make it 104-101 with just under eight minutes left.
@The_ColeAnthony | #MagicTogether pic.twitter.com/Q0jSPE68D0— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) December 27, 2020
Vooch finally found his outside touch midway through the fourth, hitting a three with 6:50 remaining to put the Magic up 109-103, the first of 13 points Vucevic would score in the game’s final seven minutes.
Fultz then helped seal it by delivering this lob to Aaron Gordon, who had 15 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists...
@MarkelleF ↗️ @Double0AG pic.twitter.com/lj30TM3xmf— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) December 27, 2020
And then by converting this And-1 in transition...
, !@MarkelleF | #MagicTogether pic.twitter.com/37km6TwLnn— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) December 27, 2020
And then by making this acrobatic reverse layup...
.@MarkelleF | #MagicTogether pic.twitter.com/A1pTZ9NxkD— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) December 27, 2020
And then by delivering this with this Penny Hardaway-like no-look pass to Vucevic for the lay in...
Don't forget to give a gift to St. Nik.— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) December 27, 2020
Fultz delivered a spectacular (no-look) one. @MarkelleF → @NikolaVucevic pic.twitter.com/AwbCSlAr3z
Not a complete performance by the Magic, with their defensive struggles, particularly in pick-and-roll coverage, quite apparent. But a win is a win. And 2-0 is 2-0.
The Magic and Wizards run it back on Sunday in the second game of a back-to-back. The Magic will look to start the season 3-0 for the first time since......2009.