The Orlando Magic traveled to Cleveland Wednesday night in search of their first win of the 2022-23 NBA season. Unfortunately, they could not find it.
The opening minutes of the game was an even battle between the two teams, as by the first stoppage of play, the game was tied at 12 with 6:46 to play.
Also during the opening quarter, Bol Bol seemingly carried over the momentum from his career night in New York Monday evening, as in seven minutes off Orlando’s bench, he stuffed the stat sheet with two points, six rebounds, one assist and one block.
At the first quarter buzzer, Paolo Banchero canned a 10-foot floater to bring the Magic within six (30-24).
The Magic and Cavaliers traded baskets to open the second period, but following a putback dunk from Bol, the Magic cut Cleveland’s lead to four (34-30), forcing them to take their second timeout of the game.
With 5:09 remaining in the second quarter, Mo Bamba threw down an alley-oop slam from Terrence Ross, sparking a 9-3 run for Orlando. With 3:33 to play in the first half, the game was tied at 46.
With 2:08 to go, the Magic took their largest lead of the first half (50-46) following a Wendell Carter Jr. layup. But that lead was quickly erased as Cleveland finished the first half on a 8-0 run and held a four-point lead (54-50) heading into the halftime break.
Franz Wagner led all scorers with 14 points at the end of two quarters while Banchero chipped in 11 points, four rebounds and three assists. Cedi Osman scored a team-high 10 points for Cleveland in the first half.
Franz Wagner in the first half:— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) October 27, 2022
14 PTS • 7-11 FG • 15 MIN pic.twitter.com/WMXyh00CLd
The two teams opened the second half shooting a combined 1/9 from the field, but with 8:46 remaining in the third, Orlando took a timeout following back-to-back scores from Cleveland.
With 2:45 to go in the third period following an Evan Mobley jump shot, it felt like Cleveland was on the verge of putting the game out of reach. But with Banchero and Wagner back in the game, Orlando finished the quarter on a 9-2 run, bringing themselves back to within four (73-69).
Early in the final period, a pair of Banchero triples kept Orlando in the game. With 8:41 to go in the game, Orlando trailed by just four points (81-77). But Cleveland responded with a 6-0 run and extended their lead to 10 (87-77) with 7:02 to play.
Maintaining possession of the basketball was a major issue for the Magic down the stretch, as in the final nine minutes of play the Magic totaled four turnovers.
Despite a late rally from the Magic, Orlando ultimately lost the game 103-92, their fifth straight loss to open the 2022-23 season.
Banchero led the way with 29 points, eight rebounds and four assists, and Wagner totaled 22 points in the loss.
As for their next game, Orlando will head back to the Amway Center Friday night for a divisional matchup against the Charlotte Hornets.