The Orlando Magic opened up their regular season home opener against John Wall and the Washington Wizards. It was an exciting opener, albeit, one plagued with turnovers that would cost the Magic who’re still seeking their first win.
The Magic started the game much like they did in their season opener against the New Orleans Pelicans. Turning the ball over eight times in nine minutes, which led to the Wizards scoring 8 points off those turnovers. Channing Frye also made his debut tonight, and his presence was felt immediately. The floor was spread, which allowed Elfrid Payton and Evan Fournier to operate freely. Fournier, who would end up getting off to a hot start with 7 points. Nikola Vucevic led the charge with strong play once again, putting up 8 points and 5 rebounds in the first quarter.
After committing 8 turnovers to start the game, the Magic would fix things effectively in the second, only committing three in the entire quarter. The Magic also kept the Wizard’s bigs off the offensive boards, something they struggled mightily to do a few nights earlier. Evan Fournier found his touch also, knocking in a couple of three-pointers for a game high, 14 points. Nene would lead the Wizards in scoring with 11 while John Wall, Marcin Gortat, and Garrett Temple each had 10 heading into the half.
The Wizards would break the game open coming out of the half as they shot 12-of-21 from the floor, and forcing the Magic to commit 6 turnovers which led to 8 points for the Wizards. John Wall, Paul Pierce, and Marcin Gortat combined for 26 points to push the lead up to as many as 17 for the Wizards.
With the game seemingly out of reach, Magic would go on one more rally. Thanks to Nik Vucevic, Evan Fournier and Ben Gordon combining for 27 of the team’s 32 points in the fourth quarter, the Magic would go on a run to cut the 17 point deficit to 2, but would not take the lead. The Wizards would hold on to beat the Magic, 105-98
John Wall led all scorers with 30 points and 12 assists. Marcin Gortat followed with 20 points, 12 rebounds. Paul Pierce with 16 points with Nene and Garrett Temple finishing with 12 apiece.
Nikola Vucevic led the Magic with a second consecutive double-double of 23 points, 12 rebounds. Ben Gordon & Evan Fournier posted season highs of 22 and 21 points respectively. Tobias Harris finished with 14.
The Magic host the Toronto Raptors Saturday, November 1st.