The Magic quite literally gave this one away.
Orlando led by as many as 15 points in the second half, but finished with 24 turnovers that helped the Oklahoma City Thunder stick around and ultimately come back for a 116-108 victory.
That spoiled what had mostly been a strong shooting performance by the Magic, a career-high-matching night by Wendell Carter Jr., and a return for Jalen Suggs.
Suggs was back on the court after missing the last five games with an ankle sprain. But when the Magic get an injured player back they have to lose another, those are the rules. This time it was Terrence Ross who exited in the first after suffering a knee contusion.
Bol Bol got things started early, showing off various aspects of his skill set at both ends...
douBol trouble @BolBol with the block and putback! pic.twitter.com/oVtImVeFXh— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) November 2, 2022
Carter Jr. also got off to a fast start, scoring 11 points in the first on 4-for-5 shooting. The Magic overall shot the ball well in the opening quarter on possessions where they managed to get off an attempt. But seven turnovers in the first limited those opportunities. Both teams shot over 50 percent from the field in the quarter and the Thunder led 33-32 after one.
It was a similar story in the second quarter for Orlando, combing efficient shooting and sloppy play. A 10-2 run gave the Thunder a 57-47 lead with 4:49 remaining in the half. The Magic responded with a 13-2 run of their own, capped with a layup by Paolo Banchero, to regain the lead at 60-59. Banchero converted a three-point play out of the post in the final minute to push the Orlando lead to five.
The Magic, after shooting 54.2 percent in the second, led 66-63 going into the break. The lead should have been more, but 14 first-half turnovers contributed to nine more field goal attempts in the half for the Thunder, who shot 49.1 percent from the field through two.
The Orlando lead reached double figures in the third, with Bol Bol draining a three to open the second-half scoring and spark a 9-0 Magic run for a 75-63 lead. The Magic held their biggest advantage after Carter Jr. hit a three and a hook shot and Banchero hit a pair of free throws for a 7-0 run that pushed the lead to 86-71 with 4:53 left in the third. But those would be the final Magic points until a bucket by R.J. Hampton with 52.2 seconds left in the third. The Thunder closed the quarter on a 14-2 lead to pull within 88-85 going into the fourth.
The Magic rebuilt their lead, with Carter hitting a straightaway three for a 104-93 lead with over seven minutes left.
dell is hoopin hoopin— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) November 2, 2022
26 PTS for @wendellcarter34 pic.twitter.com/5TQr5SJPFv
But that was the final Magic field goal of the game as they missed their final 10 shots and added in a few more turnovers along the way. A three by Aleksej Pokusevski with 4:12 left capped a 12-0 run that put the Thunder on top at 105-104. OKC closed the game on a 23-4 run to earn their fourth straight victory.
Shai Gilgeious-Alexander led the way with 34 points.
Carter matched his career high with 30 points on 10-for-15 shooting, going 2 of 2 from deep and 8 of 8 from the line. He also grabbed 12 rebounds. Wagner had 20 points and seven assists. Banchero was held under 20 points for the second straight game, finishing with 18 points on 6-for-13 shooting. Bol posted his second-straight double-double with 13 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks. Suggs struggled from the field in his return, going 3-for-14, including 1 of 9 from deep, for nine points in 28 minutes off the bench.
The Magic, who opened the season with six of their first eight games on the road, now return to Orlando for a seven-game homestead.It begins Thursday with a matchup against the world champion Golden State Warriors.