The Magic’s star returned against the currently starless Sixers.
But having Paolo Banchero back wasn’t enough for Orlando against a Philadelphia 76ers team playing without Joel Embiid, James Harden and Tyrese Maxey, as the shorthanded Sixers won 107-99.
Banchero returned to the court after missing seven games with a sprained ankle but struggled with his shot early, missing all three of his attempts in the first quarter.
It was Bol Bol putback’s dunk to open the game that was a sign of things to come in the first half for the Magic.
Bol had his way in the paint early on, scoring eight points and grabbing four rebounds in the quarter.
Moe Wagner made his season debut, draining a corner three with one minute left in the first to give the Magic a 27-21 lead.
But the bulk of the Magic offense in the quarter was inside, scoring 18 points in the paint in the first and shooting 50 percent from the field to take a 29-24 lead after one.
Banchero got on the board midway through the second, hitting a corner three off a feed from Mo Bamba and hitting a runner off the glass to help give the Magic a 42-36 lead.
Banchero scored seven points in the second. As did Bol, who connected on a three after an offensive rebound by Gary Harris and later stole the ball, pushed it down court and hit the pull-up...
Bol finished the half with 15 points on 7-for-8 shooting. Orlando overall in the half scored 32 points in the paint, shot 50 percent from the field and took a 56-52 advantage into the break after Banchero drew the foul on a heave from beyond half court in the closing seconds.
Shake Milton hit a pair of threes during a 10-0 Philadelphia run that gave the Sixers a 64-60 lead with 8:19 left in the third. Milton scored 10 in the quarter as the Sixers lead grew to as many as eight in the third. Gary Harris scored seven points over the final 4:30 of the third to help the Magic pull within 82-76 going into the fourth.
The Magic went on to shoot just 5-for-18 in the fourth (27.8 percent), going 2 of 12 from three as the Sixers’ lead reached 96-86 on a three by Georges Niang. A late three-point play by Franz Wagner and pair of free throws by Banchero pulled Orlando within 103-98 with 2:16 left. But Milton then set up Montrezl Harrell for a dunk that sealed it.
Milton finished with 24 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds to lead the Sixers. Tobias Harris added 23 points and 10 rebounds.
The Magic shot 42.5 percent from the field, going just 9-for-35 from deep, which is far too many three-point attempts on a night when the Magic were having success inside against a team that was missing Embiid.
Wagner led Orlando with 24 points, going 9-for-10 from the line. Banchero had 19 points on 5-for-12 shooting, going 1 of 3 from deep and 8 of 11 from the line in 36 minutes. Bol finished with 18 points, eight rebounds and four blocks.
Jalen Suggs, still nursing an ankle injury, played just 19 minutes and was scoreless with four assists.
The Magic get another shot at the Sixers on Sunday, with opening tip set for 6 p.m. at Amway Center.