The losses and injuries continue to pile up for the shorthanded Orlando Magic.
The Magic dropped their seventh straight game with a 101-96 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, and in the process lost Jalen Suggs for the foreseeable future.
Suggs exited in the fourth quarter and the team announced after the game that he will be out for an extended period of time after suffering a fractured thumb.
It was disappointing news on a night in which Suggs and fellow rookie Franz Wagner led a Magic comeback to temporarily take the lead in the second half against the Sixers.
Point Franz. Smooth.— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) November 30, 2021
22 PTS for the rook pic.twitter.com/6t5BPxO9i6
It erased what was a slow start for Orlando, which missed nine of their first 10 shots as the Sixers jumped out to an early 12-2 lead. The Magic were limted to one field goal over the first half of the quarter until Suggs and Gary Harris hit back-to-back threes to cut the deficit to 19-10.
Telegraphed passes continued to doom the Magic, leading to easy points for the Sixers. After committing five turnovers and shooting 29 percent in the quarter, the Magic trailed 31-19 after one.
They settled down in the second and protected the ball better. The threes began to fall for the Magic (5-for-10 in the second), with Harris’ second three of the quarter cutting the Sixers’ lead to single digits in the final minute. The Sixers went into the break with a 54-43 lead after shooting 46 percent in the half. Seth Curry led the way with 14 points on 6-for-7 shooting.
Wagner scored seven quick points in the third - on a three, floater and turnaround - to help make it a two-possession game at 57-53. Wagner went on to score 11 points in the quarter, with his fingerroll evening the score at 62-62. Suggs then put the Magic in front after intercepting a pass and coasting in for the dunk and a 64-62 advantage as part of an 8-0 Orlando run.
The Magic continued scoring inside and on the break, making 9 of their first 12 shots in the quarter. Philly responded by hitting some well-contested threes to go back in front, ultimately taking a 81-78 lead into the fourth.
The Magic were limited to just two points over the first five minutes of the fourth as the Sixers lead grew to 87-80. Orlando chipped away by scoring inside, tying the score at 93-93 on a Mo Bamba putback slam with 57.8 seconds remaining.
On the ensuing possession, Joel Embiid was fouled after grabbing an offensive rebound and hit both free throws. The Sixers sealed the win at the line from there to extend the Magic’s losing streak.
Curry led the Sixers with 24 points. Embiid had 16 points and 13 rebounds. Tobias Harris added 17 points and nine rebounds.
Wagner finished with 27 points, one point shy of his career-high, while shooting 11-for-24. He also added six rebounds and five assists.
Franz Wagner tonight:— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) November 30, 2021
He joined Cole Anthony, Victor Oladipo, Jameer Nelson, Penny Hardaway and Shaquile O’Neal as the only Magic rookies ever with a 25/5/5 game. pic.twitter.com/o5siO2jIg1
Bamba had 11 points, 17 rebounds and a career-high six blocks. Gary Harris added a season-high 16 points, going 3 of 8 from three. The Magic overall struggled from deep once again, going 8-for-33, with Wendell Carter Jr. and Terrence Ross each going 0 of 6.
Suggs had 17 points and five assists before suffering the injury. He will be reevaluated in Orlando, per Woj, as the shorthanded Magic prepare to host the Nuggets on Wednesday.