Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid (21) goes up for a dunk during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic, Monday, Jan. 30, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Magic Fall to 76ers in Philadelphia 105-94

The Orlando Magic were defeated by the Philadelphia 76ers 105-94 on Wednesday night. This was the second-straight matchup between these two teams. On Monday, Orlando took down Philadelphia 119-109 in comeback fashion. The Magic trailed by as many as 20 points in that one, but they mounted a second half comeback for the ages.

It was a different story on Wednesday as the Magic could not pull off another upset. Joel Embiid and James Harden led the way for the Sixers as Orlando fell to 20-32 on the season. Meanwhile, 76ers improved to 33-17.

Back and Forth First Half

The Magic defense struggled in the first quarter on Wednesday. A competitive first eight minutes had the Magic up 23-20. Philadelphia took over, scoring 17 unanswered points to end the quarter up 37-23.

Embiid played MVP-caliber basketball for the Sixers. He finished with a game-high 28 points to go along with 11 rebounds, securing his 24th double-double of the season. He was perfect from the free throw stripe as he went 10-10. Of Embiid’s 28 points, 16 of them came in Philadelphia’s monstrous first quarter.

To end the first, 76ers’ Shake Milton found Embiid crashing to the basket for an easy layup at the buzzer.

After a sluggish start to the game, the Magic came storming back in the second quarter. They cut the lead down to just four after a Jalen Suggs steal and fast break dunk less than four minutes into the quarter.

Suggs played well coming off the bench. He scored 11 points and played ball-hawking as he finished with a career-high five steals.

At the end of the half, Markelle Fultz spun around De’Anthony Melton and finished with his left hand at the rim to draw within three, 56-53. Fultz was Orlando’s leading scorer on the night with 18 points on 7-11 shooting from the field.

Magic Fall Flat in Fourth

In the third quarter, the two sides countered each other’s every punch. The Sixers outscored the Magic by just one in the frame as it ended with Philadelphia in the lead 82-78.

Orlando could not get its offense going in the fourth quarter. The Magic defense kept them in the game late. However, Orlando only scored 16 points in the fourth.

Harden played a big part in the Sixers win. He scored 26 points, including a season-high six three-pointers as he finished one assist shy of a triple-double. Seven of his points and two of his threes came in the fourth to close out Orlando’s chances of another come-from-behind victory.

The game ended 105-94 in favor of Philadelphia.

Orlando Back in Action

The Magic are back on the hardwood Friday night as they continue their four-game road trip against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

About Hugh Green

Hugh is a third year student majoring in Journalism: Sports and Media at the University of Florida.

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