The Orlando Magic didn’t have many active players available on Wednesday, but all of those who were in uniform contributed.
With four players injured and four lost to suspension, the Magic had eight of their nine available players score in double figures during a 126-115 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday.
The Magic jumped out to an early lead after an 11-0 run in the first quarter, capped by a Mo Bamba jumper for a 24-17 advantage. After threes by Kendrick Williams and Mike Muscala helped make it a one-possession game for the Thunder, Paolo Banchero answered with a dunk over Shai Gilgeous-Alexander....
SGA closed the quarter with a three-point play that cut the Orlando lead to 31-28 heading into the second. Alexander went 5-for-5 from the line in the first, scoring 11 points in the quarter. Fultz and Wendell Carter Jr. each had six to lead the Magic, who scored 16 points in the paint and shot 50 percent from the field in the first.
The Magic opened the second on a 7-0 run, with Terrence Ross draining a three to push the lead to 38-28. Banchero later followed with a baseline fadeaway and a drive plus the foul for a three-point play to make it 47-36. Ross soon followed with a three-point play of his own on a floater to push the lead to 16. The Thunder cut the deficit to 10, but the Magic closed the half on a 7-0 run, with Caleb Houstan hitting a three and then converting a putback just before the buzzer to send the Magic into the locker room with a 70-53 advantage.
An early three in the third by Gary Harris gave the Magic their largest lead to that point at 75-54. The Thunder began to chip away following back-to-back threes by Isaiah Joe that pulled them within 87-74 with 3:39 left in the third. The Magic and Thunder then traded three-pointers, with Banchero, Muscala and Ross each connecting over a 33-second span.
The Thunder closed the third on a 9-0 run, with Joe hitting another three that helped cut the Magic lead to 95-88 entering the fourth.
A straightaway three off the dribble by Banchero early in the fourth put the Magic back up by double figures at 100-90. The Magic built the lead up to 15 before a 7-0 Thunder run cut it down to eight with 3:12 left. It was Banchero once again who responded, hitting a contested 20-footer to stop the run, and the Magic closed it out from there.
Orlando shot 51.9 percent from the field, going 13 of 33 from three. They also got to the free throw line 36 times, connecting on 29 attempts (80.6 percent). That helped counter the Thunder’s efficient night at the stripe (28-for-31), which was led by SGA, who went 17-for-18 from the line and had 33 points.
Banchero had 25 points on 8-for-17 shooting to go along with eight rebounds and seven assists to lead the Magic. Harris and Ross both finished with 18 points, each with three makes from deep. Carter Jr. had 13 points and 13 rebounds. Fultz added 13 points, R.J. Hampton had 12, Houstan hit three threes and finished with 11 and Bamba had 10 points. Cole Anthony was the lone member of the Magic who was unable to reach double figures, finishing with six points.
The Magic complete a back-to-back when they host the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday, and they’ll have all but one of their suspended players back (Moe Wagner). They then head on a five-game West Coast trip that starts in Golden State.