With a playoff spot on the line, every single game counts for the Magic. Plus, their win against the 76ers should put them a little closer to that point.
Magic Bounce Back
Down 60-57 at half time, the Magic knew they had to come back hard to pull out a win. Nik Vucevic did not let up. He scored 28 points and had 11 rebounds. His performance alongside Evan Fournier, who scored 24 points, made it hard for the 76ers to come back, especially without their leading man Ben Simmons.
In the second half of the game, the Magic had the 76ers in a scoring stalemate. The 76ers missed 15 shots in a row, letting the Magic propel forward with a 30-5 scoring run. This resulted in the Magic defeating Philadelphia 119-98.
This was a pivotal night for Orlando. For the first time in franchise history, the Magic completed a 5-0 homestand run. This is the momentum they need going into their next games. They are headed to Miami to take on the Heat, who happen to stand one spot above them in the Eastern Conference standings.
Magic Playoff Contention
A win against the Heat will help to push them up in the ranks, but Miami will definitely be ready to hold them off, in order to defend their potential spot in the playoffs.
Although Orlando beat Philadelphia, the 76ers are already locked into their spot in the playoffs. The Magic and the Heat are on the bubble, which makes it even better that they play each other next. Also on the upcoming schedule for the Magic are the Pistons, the Pacers, and the Raptors.
All three of these teams either have secured playoff spots or are highly likely to get one, so the Magic will truly be playing for its life. The other teams, while obviously wanting to win, don’t have a playoff spot at stake as the Magic do. Orlando will have to play very well right up to the end of the season.
The Magic face the Heat tonight at 7:30 in Miami for a special night. The former Heat lifer, 11x All-Star and 2x NBA Champion Chris Bosh will be the star of the evening as the Heat will retire his number into the rafters.