ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – The Magic fell to the Hawks when they came to Orlando last week, and they came into Wednesday’s rematch ready to get revenge, clocking a whopping 50 points in the first quarter. First. Quarter.
Atlanta Hawks head coach acknowledged his team’s win here last time, but said during the pregame press conference Wednesday that in order to win, Atlanta will have to “stay in front of them [the Magic].” He noted that the Magic have a lot of tall players, and that they’re a young and aggressive team.
The Magic proved that.
Orlando’s starting five included the Wagner brothers (both Franz and Moritz), Bol Bol, Paolo Banchero, and Markelle Fultz. Atlanta’s starting five: Trae Young, Clint Capela, AJ Griffin, De’Andre Hunter and Jalen Johnson.
Trae Young and Clint Capela gave the same solid offensive performance expected of them for Atlanta, and Young was the headache for Orlando at the foul line. Young led with eight points and two assists while Capela followed with four points and one assist.
However, for Orlando’s part, assists were the name of the game–making 12 compared to Atlanta’s four–and usually through Bol, Banchero, Fultz, and Terrence Ross off the bench to either Franz Wagner, Cole Anthony (also off the bench), or one another.
Franz Wagner led the Orlando scoring in the first quarter with 11 points and contributed two assists. Anthony followed, contributing eight points off the bench with two rebounds and two assists.
The Magic ended the first quarter leading 50-22, making this only the ninth time in NBA history that a time scored 50 points in the first quarter. The last time it happened was when the Portland Trail Blazers scored 50 against the Houston Rockets on May 10, 2021.
The Magic’s momentum slowed slightly in the second quarter, and they fouled more, sending Atlanta to the line several times. In the first quarter it was the other way around, with the Magic shooting a total of 13 free throws compared to the Hawks’ seven. Second quarter, the Hawks went to the line for a total of eight free throws to the Magic’s six, and made all eight compared to Orlando’s 66.7 percent (4-of-6).
The overall scoring shifted drastically too. The Hawks scored 40 points in the second quarter to the Magic’s 26 points, mostly thanks to De’Andre Hunter who led with 20 points by himself. He was 6-of-9 on field goals, 4-of-5 on threes, and made all four of his free throws.
For Orlando’s part, they made a few explosive plays to maintain their quickly shrinking lead. The Amway Center crowd erupted in cheers with Bol Bol’s quick thinking dunk in the second quarter. He ran down the right side of the court then spun around and ran straight into the paint for the dunk. Markelle Fultz followed with a dunk of his own, prompting an Atlanta Hawks timeout. Banchero led Orlando’s scoring in the second quarter with eight points while Franz Wagner followed, contributing another four points.
The Magic led 76-62 at halftime.
Orlando’s momentum seemed to slow down a little more in the third quarter as well, but managed to cross the 100-point mark late in the quarter. With less then 1.5 minutes left in the quarter, they led 102-93.
The Hawks outscored the Magic in the third, netting 32 points to Orlando’s 29. Clint Capela carried the Hawks in the third, leading with 10 points and contributing three rebounds and one assist.
That said, the Magic made a strong quarter-ending play: Atlanta’s Onyeka Okongwu had the ball, but Orlando’s Admiral Schofield slapped it out of his hand, causing Cole Anthony and a couple of others to battle for the ball. Ultimately Anthony retrieved the ball and passed it to Ross, who landed the three-pointer right at the buzzer, giving the Magic a 105-94 lead going into the fourth quarter.
With 8:10 left in the fourth, Cole Anthony repeated what he did in Orlando’s last match: He successfully swished a field goal while falling on his back, the foul courtesy of Trae Young. His play was only the third successful shot in the fourth quarter by either team at that point.
By game’s end, Young and Okungwu got double doubles for Atlanta with 19 points and 16 assists; and 15 points and 11 rebounds, respectively. Hunter led Atlanta with a game high 25 points, six rebounds and three assists.
Orlando’s game-end highlight? Eight of their ten slated players scored in the double digits on the night. Franz Wagner led with 24 points, followed by Bol with 21 points and Banchero with 20 points.
The Magic hung onto the lead despite the Hawks shrinking the gap, ending with a final score of 135-124.
Orlando Magic Postgame Press Conference
Orlando Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley, Markelle Fultz and Bol Bol talked with the media postgame.
The Orlando Magic hit the road for four games (including another match against the Hawks Monday night) before returning home to host the San Antonio Spurs Friday, December 23, 2022 at 7pm ET.
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