Franz Wagner had been the one member of the Orlando Magic to avoid injury all season.
That changed 20 seconds into the Magic’s 102-89 loss to the Raptors on Friday night.
Wagner, while defending Scottie Barnes, rolled his ankle on the first possession of the game. He limped off the court, made his way back to the locker room and did not return.
Whether we see Wagner on Sunday against the Knicks, or at all over the final four games of the season, remains to be seen. But the rookie’s status as the only member of the Magic to have played in every game this season, albeit in only 20 seconds of Friday’s matchup, is in jeopardy.
“No update, we’re just gonna see how he pulls up tomorrow,” Jamahl Mosley said after the game. “He just went down with the ankle.”
He was replaced by Ignas Brazdeikis, who took and made a quick three to put the Magic on the board. It was the first of three three-pointers Brazdeikis would make in the first quarter, the last of which pulled the Magic within 24-23 after trailing by seven. Orlando went scoreless over the final 2:54 of the first as the Raptors took a 29-23 lead into the second.
Devin Cannady, who signed a 10-day contract on Thursday, made his return to the court after suffering an ankle fracture last April, checking in with 2:28 remaining in the first. His first bucket came when he hit a three early in the second quarter.
Cannady drained another three to pull the Magic even at 37-37 with seven minutes remaining in the half. A three by Chuma Okeke gave the Magic a 42-39 lead, but the turnovers began to pile up for the Magic (eight in the second quarter and 14 in the half) and the Raptors answered with an 18-2 run to take a 57-44 advantage.
Fred VanVleet went off in the third, scoring 13 of the Raptors’ first 14 points in the quarter, capped by a layup in transition off an Orlando turnover that gave Toronto a 73-57 lead. Late threes by Chris Boucher and Precious Achiuwa helped give the Raptors an 85-63 lead at the end of the third. The Magic shot 35 percent in the quarter, going 2-for-11 from three.
The Magic opened the fourth on a 12-1 run, with Markelle Fultz finding Moe Wagner on the break for a one-handed dunk. Fultz capped the stretch by banking in a fadeaway and hitting a floater to cut the deficit to 86-75 with 8:38 left.
But the Magic didn’t get all that much closer. They were held without a field goal over the final four minutes, but did pull within nine on a pair of free throws by R.J. Hampton with just under two minutes left.
Orlando finished with 21 turnovers that the Raptors turned into 32 points.
Toronto had six players in double figures, with 19 points each for VanVleet, who went 5-for-16 from three, and Barnes, who added eight rebounds and seven assists. Pascal Siakam had 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Mo Bamba, who scored nine first-quarter points, finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds and six assists, including this behind-the-back feed to Cole Anthony...
Brazdekis added 13 points. Fultz had 12 points, seven assists and five rebounds in 20:25.
Cannady finished with nine points on 3-for-7 shooting from deep in his return.
“I’m just so happy for him and his journey and his story and what he’s been through and his ability to get back out there and play fearlessly,” Mosley said after the game. “He just stepped right in and was ready. But again, so happy for him and his story and what he’s been through. Fighting through the adversity and getting back on the court.”
He’ll be back on the court Sunday when the Magic host the Knicks. We’ll see if Franz Wagner joins him.