Orlando Magic's Franz Wagner, from left, Paolo Banchero and Gary Harris react after an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Monday, Jan. 30, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Magic Ride Dominant Second Half To Victory Over 76ers

The Magic certainly lived up to their name on Monday night. After trailing by as many as 20 points, Orlando pulled off a 119-109 comeback victory against the Philadelphia 76ers. The win put Orlando at 20-31 on the season, while Philadelphia dropped to 32-17.

Rookie Paolo Banchero led the way for Orlando with 29 points, nine rebounds and three assists. Markelle Fultz secured a double-double with 12 points and 10 assists, while Moritz Wagner chipped in with 22 points and six rebounds off the bench. Joel Embiid finished with 30 points, eleven rebounds and five assists for Philadelphia.

First Half Woes For The Magic

It took the Magic some time to find their rhythm. Philadelphia opened up the game on an 8-0 run, with Embiid dominating right out of the gate. Later in the quarter, the 76ers extended their lead to 21-4. Orlando finally woke up near the end of the quarter, thanks in part to a surge of energy off the bench courtesy of Wagner. Nevertheless, the 76ers still held on to a 30-17 lead after the first 12 minutes.

The second quarter got off to a similar start, with Philadelphia going on yet another run to extend their lead back up to 20 points. However, Orlando did not let up this time around. Banchero scored 11 points in the final six minutes of the quarter as the Magic’s offense finally started showing signs of life. Fultz also helped Orlando’s offense find its rhythm with eight assists in the first half. By halftime, they had trimmed down Philadelphia’s lead to 62-52.

Full Speed Ahead in the Second Half

At the start of the second half, the 76ers continued controlling nearly every aspect of the game. However, an and-one basket from Banchero gave the Magic the spark they needed. Orlando tallied up a 21-5 run to narrow the deficit down to two points and they eventually took their first lead of the game with 1:30 remaining in the third quarter. At the end of the period, they led 94-90. Orlando outscored Philadelphia 42-28 in the third quarter alone.

With the momentum now on their side, the Magic never let up for the rest of the evening. While the 76ers continued to put up a fight, Orlando neutralized their offense, limiting them to 19 points in the fourth quarter. Orlando kept the flame alive on the offensive end as well, led by a 14-point quarter from Wagner. Between Wagner’s fourth quarter fireworks and more stellar play from Banchero, the Magic managed to close out yet another upset victory against a playoff-caliber opponent.

The Magic and 76ers will meet again on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Philadelphia.

About Jack Meyer

Jack Meyer is a third-year student at the University of Florida. He is majoring in Journalism and specializing in Sports and Media.

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