It may have been Jalen Suggs’ homecoming, but it was his fellow rookie Franz Wagner who made himself right at home.
Wagner scored 10 of his season-high 28 points in the fourth quarter, including a highlight-reel worthy dunk, to help lift the Magic to a 115-97 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Wagner combined with Cole Anthony, who scored 14 of his season-high 31 points in the fourth, as the Magic dominated the quarter by outscoring the Wolves 43-19.
Early on, it was the Magic free throw shooting that kept them in the game. They got into the bonus early in the first and went 12-for-15 from the stripe to help compensate for a 5-for-18 shooting performance from the field in the quarter (2 of 11 from three). That was led by Anthony, who made all six of his free throw attempts in the quarter.
The Magic, despite allowing the Wolves to shoot 48 percent in the first, pulled within 32-26 after a Terrence Ross three and Suggs layup with seconds remaining.
The Magic went the first five minutes of the second without a field goal until Suggs’ layup cut the Minnesota lead to 44-33. That was the start of a 15-2 Orlando run that was highlighted by a pair of threes by Wendell Carter Jr., the second of which evened the score at 46-46.
A three by Franz Wagner with 1:35 left in the half put the Magic up 52-51. A pair of turnovers by Anthony led to a pair of buckets by Anthony Edwards, as the Wolves went into the break with a 58-53 advantage.
Both teams struggled offensively in the third. The Wolves extended their lead in the quarter, but the Magic closed on a 7-2 run to pull within 78-72 heading into the fourth.
It turned into an 18-3 Magic run after Anthony hit back-to-back threes - both from close to the area where he hit his game-winner in Minnesota last season - to give the Magic an 83-79 lead with 10:13 left.
Anthony went 4-for-5 from deep in the fourth quarter, and 5 of 6 from the field overall in the quarter.
He got plenty of help from Wagner (and from the Wolves, who continued to launch and mostly miss three after three, finishing 14-for-51). After missing a runner and getting the ball back after an Orlando offensive rebound, Wagner showed no hesitation launching a corner three early in the shot clock. When it went in, he gave the Magic a 99-89 lead and had words for some Minnesota fans sitting courtside.
He followed with another three soon after, and then stunned the crowd with a ferocious one-handed throwdown over Jarred Vanderbilt, with Karl-Anthony Towns also giving chase.
It was the exclamation point on what was the Magic’s second win of the season.
It was Wagner’s first career 20-plus point game as he shot 10-for-18 from the field, including 5 of 9 from deep. For Anthony, it was his second career 30-plus point game as he went 6 of 11 from three-point range and also added nine rebounds and eight assists.
Per @Sportradar, @The_ColeAnthony (31) and @franzboogie (28) became the 2nd set of @OrlandoMagic teammates 21-or-younger to both score 25+ in the same game.— Orlando Magic PR (@Magic_PR) November 2, 2021
It was also accomplished on March 23, 2001 at Milwaukee by Tracy McGrady (33) & Mike Miller (28).#MagicTogether
Suggs, a Minnesota native, had 15 points on 5-for-14 shooting. Mo Bamba added eight points, 10 rebounds and four blocks. Wendell Carter Jr. had 15 points and 14 rebounds.
After winning the final game of their three-game road trip, the Magic now return to Orlando for a five-game homestand. That begins on Wednesday against the Boston Celtics.