NBA: Franz Wagner lead Magic past Wizards
NBA

Franz Wagner lead Magic past Wizards

/ 03:24 PM December 27, 2023

NBA Scores, News, Schedules

Orlando Magic forwards Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner (22) celebrate after a play during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2023, in Washington.

Orlando Magic forwards Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner (22) celebrate after a play during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON — Franz Wagner had 28 points, nine assists, and eight rebounds, rookie Anthony Black scored a career-high 23 points and the Orlando Magic defeated the Washington Wizards 127-119 in the NBA on Tuesday night.

“We’re playing good ball right now, and I’m just trying to focus on that, honestly,” Black said. “It’s going to come game-by-game, getting more comfortable. So I’m just trying to keep doing things that’s helping us win.”

Paolo Banchero overcame a slow start to finish with 24 points and eight assists and Jalen Suggs returned from a two-game absence due to a left wrist injury to score 11.

“He looked good. His conditioning was on point, he was out there defending the right way, crawling into the basketball, trying to do a lot of the right things,” Magic coach Jamahl Mosley said of Suggs. “Having a couple of games off, there wasn’t as much rust as we’d thought there’d be.”

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Jordan Poole had 30 points to lead the Wizards, who have lost four of their last five, and Tyus Jones added 22.

Trailing by as many as eight, Washington’s bench came up with 12 points in the first quarter, and a 14-4 run tied things at 33 after one.

Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero (5) shoots over Washington Wizards guard Bilal Coulibaly (0) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2023, in Washington.

Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero (5) shoots over Washington Wizards guard Bilal Coulibaly (0) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The Magic went on a 7-0 run to take a 45-38 lead in the second quarter and force Washington to call timeout with 6:44 left in the half.

The Wizards’ Corey Kispert came off the bench and started the game 6 of 6 including 3 of 3 on 3-pointers for 15 first-half points as Washington fought back from down nine to trail 63-60 at the half.

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The Magic led by as many as nine several times in the third before Banchero hit a left-handed layup for the last shot of the third quarter to give Orlando a 98-88 lead.

Washington trailed by as many as 17 in the fourth quarter, but an 11-0 run capped by Jones’ 3-pointer made it 117-111 with 3:10 remaining. Poole hit a pair of free throws with 2:02 remaining to cut the deficit to four and did so again on a dunk with just under a minute to play, but that’s the closest Washington got.

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“It’s the togetherness that we have, our poise, our communication,” Wagner said. “We have guys that like playing with each other and for each other and I think that shows in the last couple of minutes when stuff isn’t going our way that we come together and kind of find our groove again.”

The Magic had 70 points in the paint and caused 21 turnovers. They’ve won the first three games of a four-game regular season series with the Wizards.

“Overall, I think schematically we did the right things,” Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr. said. “Clean up on a couple of those turnovers and some of the transition opportunities and paint points, I think it’s a different ballgame.”

Daniel Gafford had 13 points and 13 rebounds while Kyle Kuzma had 17 for the Wizards. However, he was only 6 of 18 from the field while accounting for six turnovers.

“I just didn’t play well,” Kuzma said. “If I would have found more of a rhythm, we probably would have won because everybody else played well.”

NEXT SCHEDULE

Magic: Host Philadelphia on Wednesday night.

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Wizards: Host Toronto on Wednesday night.

TAGS: NBA, Orlando Magic

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