After a strong showing in Minnesota on Friday, the Wizards got off to a sluggish start against the Magic, getting down by as many as 11 points in the first half. From there the Wizards played catch up the rest of the game.
Markelle Fultz and Nikola Vucevic went for 14 and 15 points, respectively, in the first half. Fultz’ outburst represented a season high for him with another half to go. He finished with 19, including an emphatic and-one dunk over Davis Bertans to seal the game for the Magic.
For the first half, the Magic shot 47% from the field and 41% from 3. Keep in mind, the Magic ranked dead last in the league for field goal percentage and three-point field goal percentage coming into the game.
In the second half, the Wizards just couldn’t string together a big enough run to over take the Magic. They got as close as three at the end of the half, but sloppy defense continued to give the Magic a cushion. Orlando pushed their lead back to 18 in the third quarter.
Some timely threes in the fourth by Davis Bertans and CJ Miles gave the Wizards a puncher’s chance in the final minutes. The Wizards got within one with about a minute left after three straight threes by Bradley Beal, but it simply was not enough. The Wizards dropped the last game of their three-game road trip, 125-121.
Quiet Night for Hachimura
Outside of listening to all the Rui Hachimura fans in the crowd, there wasn’t much mention of him tonight. He finished with just six points on seven shot attempts. Give Orlando credit, particularly Aaron Gordon, who kept Hachimura quiet.
Struggling To Defend Vucevic
The Wizards got in a lot of trouble trying to help on the Magic center and ended up giving up open looks to cutters and open three-point shooters. Vucevic was a willing passer and found open teammates when he felt the double team coming. He finished with six assists on the night.
During a critical stretch where the Wizards had cut the lead down to one with just under a minute left, Thomas Bryant fouled Vucevic, putting him on the line to seal the game.
CJ Miles Adding a Spark Off the Bench
Throughout his career CJ Miles has been known as a streaky shooter, but when he is hot, watch out because he can light it up. Tonight was one of those nights. Miles nailed six threes, including three in the fourth quarter that helped the Wizards get back in the game.
- In seven of the Wizards first eight losses, the team has given up at least 110 points.
- The Magic shot a season-high 49% from the field tonight.
- The Wizards attempted 41 threes, which ties their season-high for most attempts in a game.